Mentor by Robin Gorman Newman
I’m out of sorts this week.
A mentor who I highly respected and cared for passed away unexpectedly. He was a huge supporter of my writing and a real cheerleader for my career. Not only was I shocked, but so sad. Tears came pouring out. He was a mensch of a guy, true professional and talent, and a teddy bear in the best sense of the word. I grieve for him, feel for his family, and understand all the more the twists ‘n turns and fragility of life.
On his Facebook page, there is an outpouring of love and kind words. Clearly this was a man who touched many lives, and I want to do him proud by continuing enthusiastically to work on projects he encouraged me to pursue. He would want that.
My son never saw me cry so much (he wasn’t alive when my mother passed away), and he rose to the occasion admirably this week. He sat in my lap, gave me a big hug and brought a box of tissues, as I explained why I was so shaken and what this man meant to me and so many.
It made me aware of the notion of having a mentor and being a role model.
I am grateful to have had him in my life, and I’m now wondering who will provide that to my son as the years go by?
I want to be a positive role model for him, but I know there will be skills and pursuits that are important to him that he’ll seek out, and I won’t be the one to teach him. Someone else, we have yet to identify, or more than one person, will fill those shoes. And, it’s BIG shoes to fill. Inspiring a young mind…or for that matter….a mind of any age….is such an admirable task. You have the ability to help someone fulfill their dreams, and to know that you did good in the world. What could be more gratifying?!
I’m all about helping people, and I do it becasue it feels good. I don’t expect any payback. In return, I receive gratification. I’d like my son to feel the same way and to appreciate those who live by that creed.
There’s a lot to be said for helping others. And, isn’t that what good teachers do? They share their acquired expertise and training and mold impressionable minds. As adults, we might also call them mentors, though I guess that’s more a one-on-one relationship.I Googled the word, and this is a definition I turned up…..A mentor facilitates personal and professional growth in an individual by sharing the knowledge and insights that have been learned through the years.
I hope for my son that as he matures, he is lucky enough to find himself in the company of a mentor or two who will help him travel along his chosen path. Given that I’m a midlife mother, I know my son will spend a good portion of his adult life holding the memory of me in his heart, and I keep the faith that he will surround himself with good people who he can teach, and others he can learn from.
We’re never too young or old to be inspired and to seek out people who can help us think out of the box, put aside self doubt, make discoveries, achieve things we might not have thought possible, and empower us to be the best we can be, both for our own benefit and that of the world at large.