The Light You Emit Might Even Light a Star…
I am here to tell you that the things you do without thinking may be the very things that inspire someone else to greatness. Mentoring is one of these. A mentor is an individual, usually older, always more experienced, who helps and guides another?s development. This guidance is not done for personal gain. The original Mentor is a character in Homer?s epic poem The Odyssey. When Odysseus, King of Ithaca went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor. Mentor served as the teacher and overseer of Odysseus?s? son, Telemachus.
When a young funeral director called the other day to share that she had been promoted to manager for a large, national, firm, I shared her good news and thought about the years we had worked together. I remembered the day I hired her as an apprentice, her first professional job. She has worked hard to get where she is. She is intelligent and good with people. When we worked together, she was a quick study and I enjoyed sharing my experience and knowledge with her. I may have been her first mentor but I certainly won?t be her last. The call got me thinking about the importance of guiding others.
Mentoring is used in many settings. Although it is most common in business, it is also used in educational settings, especially with “at risk” students and has been the basic principal behind the Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs. One of the most valuable assets someone?s career can have is a good mentor. There are many perspectives on the definition of mentoring, especially since the relatively recent popularity of personal and professional coaching. Being a mentor is so simple. If, in your life, you have the “been there, done that” experience, you owe it to the younger people you know to share your experiences. There are a number of approaches ? coaching, training, discussion and counselling ? but the fact remains that ?if you have the ability to change someone else?s life, you have the obligation to do it?. It can be as simple as a meeting over a cup of coffee.
In the case of the young lady I guided many years ago, she is now a shining star in a community of funeral directors that I will never move in. I urge you to mentor someone as your experience moves you through life. Never be afraid of losing your own job to them. Share your wisdom, your triumphs and your mistakes unselfishly. Mentor like someone else?s life depends on it. The light you emit may even light a star someday.
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