My mother was a particularly good role model when it came to mentors. She was a pretty good mentor as well, but she taught me the importance of mentors. She also taught me that mentors came in many different packages and were not necessarily older than you.
She was a painter. She put that on hold when she was raising children, and the second I went off to college, so did she. For 25 years, she took art courses, studio and art in the dark. She sculpted, she drew, she painted. She scandalized her hometown “girls” by taking life drawing courses. She learned from profs. She learned from students. She took advice and gave it back.
That’s a big key with mentorship, I think. Our best mentors not only help us to see our path and keep walking on it, they ask us, even demand, that we inform their journey. “Grow up! Stand strong! Be a player in this game of life!” they exhort us. They urge us not only to lead by example but also by kindness and by teaching.
I have been so lucky. I have sat at the feet of and carried the bags of great mentors. We’ve laughed ourselves silly together. And I feel the continued pressure to “get up offa that thang” and do my work. Part of my work is mine and mine alone. And part of my work is showing the way. I am very grateful… and I hope mindful.
If you don’t have these people in your life, you start looking around. Because you? are worth it. And because your dream of Peace is just a small fragment of the Peace mosaic… but without it, Peace is not complete. Mentors need to mentor, it’s their gift. And if you’re working your gifts, you’re the best sort of student to come along in their life, because they can point to your work with pride and say “I encouraged that wonderful person and his/her wonderful work!”