I wonder what I would say now to my early mentors. There were at least three things that I missed when they in my life. I thought everyone had a mentor in her/his life. I assumed that mentors, the ones everyone had, took on the tough conversations that young women and men need to have. Mentors are in your life and useful as long as you need and use them. If need or use go away, mentors usually go somewhere else.
In the first few years after University, two mentors stand out. As I look back, I was so young! I was naïve, innocent, and intense. I wanted to prove myself. Winning mattered, to every fiber of my being. In those early days there were two individuals that shaped my life. If I walked up to either one of them now I probably would use words following the outline given by an old writer; “to think you were midwife at my birth, setting me at my mother’s breasts!” (Psalm 22.9) “You were there at the beginning. While I am responsible, without you, I would not be who and what I am.”
As I look back, it is obvious to me that the choices were mine. I did not always go where they thought I should. What I can see with the benefit of time is the following.
It is rarely easy to see where you are. You may think you know the physical location and setting. The challenge is context. Can you see clearly in the framework of your values and priorities?
Options and alternatives are greater than what you think. I grew up thinking that my options included being a doctor, teacher, or preacher. I discovered a bigger world. My mentors introduced me to More.
We have the opportunity to be better, do more than what we are. It is never a bad thing to try and improve. The right fundamentals to open an opportunity for the next can be within our reach.
Their gift of relationship is an invitation to make a difference now.