Sunday July 4, 2021
I guess I never knew that mentoring was ‘a thing.’ As I was growing up, I never heard of the term or saw it in action.
So, that is why my blog will be focused on my life without mentors. I am devoting this post to a little Mentoring 101 in order to create a basic understanding of the word and the significance of mentoring, the thing that I have not benefitted from but wished I had. And, I have two great resources for you.
Looking for some definitions of a mentor, a quick Google search turned up the following:
‘An experienced and trusted advisor…to advise or train someone especially a younger colleague’
Webster’s dictionary defines a mentor this way: ‘a trusted counselor or guide…a tutor, coach’
To get an understanding of the idea of the term mentoring, for example, characteristics of a good mentor, how to find one, etc. I found a wonderful comprehensive blog (Guider) devoted to all of that, so no need to be repetitive here, you may check it all out by clicking on their link below:
Here’s a little example of my earliest recollection of being mentored, I mean ‘guided,’ according to one of the above definitions. So a little personal sharing, this week, after I shaved my legs, getting ready for all the shorts, minis, and swimsuits of the warmer weather called summer, I ended up slicing away the top layer of skin in two areas on my knee.
As my skin healed, it started to leave two ugly areas, that I began noticing often on my exposed legs. And in an unexpected way, I suddenly remembered my father telling his three kids, when I was about 8 years old, “wear your slippers, and don’t get any cuts on your skin, you’re going to America, you can’t have any scars.”
And we did well I think, other than when my sister jumped off the second level of an abandoned house, while we were out playing, and ended up with a cut under her lip, or my brother got injured during many of his games with a scooter or other hand made machineries boys made to speed on the roads, and I somehow ended up with an indentation on the front of my leg.
I believe we received spankings from my father after these occurrences, because we were going to America and Papa needed us to remember that we had to have the best physique possible when we got to America, which later occurred in 1975.
Looking back, I’m grateful for the Mentor, I mean Guide, that Papa was to us young kids, because we never ended up with discolored skin or scars, etc. like the one I’m staring at currently. Maybe the more important lesson was that he was providing guidance for was to protect our bodies because it’s these bodies that will take us through life, and that was one of the things we had control over.
I think my father did an excellent job with his three children, for a man who, at our age, had been raised in an orphanage. Like my sister always proudly claims, “our father was a good father to his children, especially his girl children, he always treated us respectfully, and took care of us, not like some of the other fathers we know.”
So, I salute my father, one of my earliest Mentors, I meant guide!
Because I’ve never had a personal or professional mentor, the kind that I sat with or talked with on the phone, or wrote to and received structured guidance on how to advance in my profession or what to do with my life goals in order to stand a good chance at meeting them, I feel like I’ve missed out tremendously.
I feel like I could have accomplished much more, because my personal and professional dreams were without limits. In fact, that’s what my parents told me, “you can do or be anything you want to be!” Even though I have pioneered many things in my life thus far, seeking a mentor was something I really never thought of. I have great respect for individuals who are willing to set aside their precious time to notice a person’s enthusiasm and passion and choose to mentor them
Mentoring is a thing, that many have benefitted from since the beginning of time. My goal is to bring attention to this tool and empower others to utilize it more. Mentors need Mentees and Mentees definitely need Mentors. There are many programs out there to help bridge the gap between the two. Here’s a link to another great one: