Importance of Mentors in Our Life

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Mentoring as a concept is a largely modern notion. The practice of mentoring, however, is actually quite old in its purest form. It is as old as social relationships in which one person knows things that would help another person be successful and avoid certain troubles along the way. Sometimes but not always mentoring is a relationship between someone of an older generation with more life experience providing guidance and counsel for someone in a younger generation with obviously less life experience.

A simple way to look at and define this idea or calling of a mentor is this, a mentor is and should be a person whose experience and past can become the mentee’s foresight and guide for their future. We often say hindsight is 20/20, meaning if we could look into the future and see where some of our decisions would lead or take us, chances are we would change a large percentage of the decisions that were made and the way we carried them out. So, in essence, mentors can use the rearview mirror of their past to guide this new generation in its future. One only needs to turn on the news for a few minutes to see the desperate need for men and women to step up and spiritually pour into the lives of this and future generations.

The word or term mentor comes from and is rooted in the world of Greek mythology and can be found in different ancient Greek literature. For example, In Homer’s epic The Odyssey, the character Odysseus had to be away from his home on a quest of battle after battle and traveling and journeying for a long period of time. For 20 years he was away from his home and the people he loved. One of the loved ones that he had left behind was his son whose name was Telemachus.

So, without his father there to lead, train and guide him Telemachus needed someone to teach him what his father couldn’t. Odysseus knew and understood that his son would need guidance, and teaching that he could not give because of the distance between them. So instead of just hoping for the best, he left an older trusted wise friend of his with the charge of raising his son. The man that was to raise his son had a very interesting name, his name was Mentor. Although this word originates from Greek Mythology the truth of what Mentor did in this story has undeniable implications for us today. (Daloz 1999:20).

Moving forward into the 21st century, the ideas and practices of being a mentor or mentoring have broadened quite a bit. The scope of mentoring has made its way too many different fields and professions including executive leadership, and different branches of the education industry, some people have even capitalized on this idea and sale this type of relationship and call themselves life coaches or advisors. Surveying the current landscape of pop-culture’s definition of this thing called mentoring, I believe they boil it down to this, any person who is positive has or can easily have an influence in someone’s life would be given the title or considered to be a mentor in this day and age.

Looking into the past gives us countless examples of constructive mentoring relationships: ancient classical Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato. Socrates was Plato’s mentor and his teacher. Then there is Hayden and Beethoven. History tells us that Haydn was the most important relationship in Beethoven’s young life, and again he was his teacher and tutor. Mentoring is a central and foundational design of our individual growth and development. It is where one person devotes their time, their passion, energy and personal expertise in the aiding, growth, and competence of another person.

On a personal note, it seems to me that every area of this secular world has bought into this concept of mentorship. In my own experience, I feel as though the children of God aren’t seeing the benefit because largely most aren’t willing to give the time, love, and energy it takes to pour into future generations. That could be one reason another reason could be that they miss the correlation between discipleship and mentorship.

In the context of Christianity, mentoring has been defined as ‘a triadic relationship between mentor, mentoree and the Holy Spirit, where the mentoree can discover the already present action of God, intimacy with God, ultimate identity as a child of God and a unique voice for kingdom responsibility’ (Anderson and Reese 1999:12).

Cite this paper

Importance of Mentors in Our Life. (2021, Jul 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/importance-of-mentors-in-our-life/

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