Today is February 24, 2015. Ruckusmaker Day. In 2014, I had a goal of writing 750 words per week, and publishing it. The roadblock for me was that I always felt like I didn’t have anything to say. So, I compromised and counted the many thousands words I concocted in emails as part of my weekly quota. It’s important to have goals, you know. And it’s important to keep them a moving target so that you can feel accomplished.
Today, on Ruckusmaker Day, I finally feel like I do have something to say:
Everyone needs a mentor
For several years now, I’ve been involved with mentoring programs. And what I have discovered is that everyone could use a mentor. The problem is that “mentoring” is such an intimidating and misunderstood term. What is mentoring? What does it look like? What do mentors do?
The answer to those questions is actually pretty simple. Mentors are your friend. And by friend, I don’t mean that buddy that you call up to go out drinking with on Friday night or laugh about the stupid decisions you have mutually made. (Nothing against that at all by the way. I’m the proud owner of thousands of stupid decisions, many of which are hilarious)
I mean a true friend. Someone who challenges you to be a better person, someone who holds you accountable to your own goals*, someone who checks in on you occasionally and knows you well enough to understand whether you really are fine or whether you’re just saying that you are and don’t want to talk about it. But then later circles back to that very issue and helps you talk through it. Everyone needs one of those in their lives.
And friendship, or mentoring, like that looks a lot like life. It can be a casual weekly meal together or a cup of coffee wherever there is a place to sit down, or even lean against a wall. It can take many forms, any of which add up to one thing: Time. Time spent together as friends. Time invested in your life as a friend and mentor. Time spent building the kind of relationship that benefits both of you.
It is my belief that society has a very deep need for these kind of healthy relationships. It is estimated that over 24 million children in America live without their father. (source: link) How can we expect someone to be successful in life when they spend the bulk of their adolescence wondering why Daddy doesn’t love them?
So, as it turns out, I really do have something to say. In fact, I have a lot to say. My hope is that I can help people see the value of pouring into others’ lives through mentoring and just being a good friend. I hope to encourage you to do just that and provide resources and ideas for ways to make that happen. Your community needs you.
Thanks for reading,
*Goals related to writing and publishing that writing are exempt from any accountability.