He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children …
Psalm 78:5-6 (NRSV)
Where did you learn to do what you do? Going beyond what we know from schools and colleges, beyond the professional skills we have, we know to do things that can’t be taught in school. Two people can practice the same skill, but how it gets done, the manner in which it is carried out with people, is unique to each of us. So, where did you learn THAT part of what you do?
We not only learn things by association, we also teach things by association. Our work habits aren’t taught in school, nor are work ethics, our way with people, or the ability to convey love with simple gestures. We learn these kinds of things, not by sitting in a classroom, but from experiencing people. Those people would be considered our mentors. You may not even realize you adopted something from a mentor, but it may have greatly blessed you along the way, regardless.
Some people may not like to hear that they are like their mother or father. I consider that to be a great compliment. I only hope that I can live out the peace, grace, and love that endeared them to others. Consider today the positive endowments within the composite of YOU. Regardless of how these have come to you, you are a mentor to others even if you aren’t aware of it. Pass on what is worthy to be passed on.
In the past, our elders were our mentors. But since no one has ever lived in the twenty-first century before, our elders cannot say to us, “This is what it’s like.”
Kent Ira Groff