Choose your mentors carefullyPublished 12:33am Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I was profoundly touched and flabbergasted when a concerned parent in our school system stated that her child needs a mentor because she had done all that she knows how in an effort to guide her child in the right direction. It was touching because it was too emotional for her, as her voice depicted accordingly. Personally, I believe she was thoughtful to have solicited the succor of a mentor because we all need guidance.
Sometimes it may be difficult for someone else to match a child perfectly with a human mentor. The values a parent constantly tries to instill in a child will eventually make the child want to achieve the right way. A mentor is no more than a person looked up for advice and direction. If a mentor is not within reach, there are satisfactory approaches readily available.
It may be wrong for a parent to constantly tell a child they have to be like so and so. Some children will resist that because they prefer to be unique. Just tell the child that you have so much respect for a person for how he worked hard and sacrificed to achieve what this individual has achieved. Always include the words sacrifice and hard work when you make reference about someone who achieved, because without sacrifice and hard work, it may be impossible to have similar achievement.
Remember, reiteration is for emphasis. If for example, you continue to share with a child the characteristics that make Joseph, in the old testament of the Bible, one of the reputable individuals that lived on earth; before you know it, he will become the child’s mentor. Joseph as a mentor will undoubtedly teach someone how to be focused when people you trust disappoint you; will teach that it pays to forgive than to hold grudges; will teach that haters may be sent to help chart your destiny; and will teach that with God all things are possible.
Essentially, Joseph achieved at a high level because he utilized the services of the greatest mentor who is omniscient, all-powerful and ubiquitous.
During the interview process for a school superintendent in 2008, I emphatically told an interviewee the school system was looking for a superintendent who would look up to God for direction and act subsequently. I know I offended some people, but my assertion was from my heart; for I know that God is the only perfect advisor in all situations.
Some mentors may intentionally criticize you in order to evaluate your heat absorption /response technique (HART) or get you to work harder, but take little or no advice from people ingrained in their parochial idiosyncrasies to the point that they always and intentionally demean you and, also, depict whatever makes you different from the next person as obstacle for success.