Mentors

By Mark vonAppen

What does – should – a mentor look like?


If we are truly looking for those who lead, we can find them at various points, in many forms, throughout our lives.  They are parents, friends, teachers, clergy, coaches, men, women, brothers and sisters.  I believe mentoring is a commodity that is like lightning in a bottle.  True mentorship knows no bounds.  It reveals itself at times boldly, at others as a whisper, but it is always there in some form.
You never know when a mentor will show up, who they will be, or how they are to influence you or your life as a whole.  We might not know how someone has molded us until years later as we hear his or her words echoed in our own. 

“A mentor should look like everyone.”

I believe mentoring to be something that is often so subtle that we do not even sense that it is occurring.  We need to focus on listening to the messages that we send to each another, what we say, do, and how we treat one another, not the vessel that the message comes in.
We need more mentors and fewer categories.  If the message is worth hearing, bias should not be a factor.  We need simply to listen to each other more closely because in ways little and in ways big, everyone is a mentor. 

What should a mentor look like?  A mentor should look like everyone. 

Here is a piece about a man who influenced me and had a profound impact on how I view the world.

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1 Comment

  1. I whole-heartedly believe that we are mosaics made from every interaction throughout our lifetime. I am lucky to have been been able to call many different types of people mentor.

    "The ability to help those around me self-actualize their goals underlines the single aspect of my abilities and the label that I value most – teacher."

    – Bill Walsh