Mentoring Journey Reflections
The following poem appeared in a book entitled, The Colors of Life, published by The International Library of Poetry in 2004. I was working on the development of a seminar for teachers, aimed at promoting the spirit of mentoring in schools, when I penned these words during a reflective time. They are aimed at encouraging those who mentor and teach young people to appreciate what a confusing time it is in most of their lives, but to persevere through the education and mentoring relationship, never quitting on their mentees.
When every teacher, or adult moving alongside a teenager during an important season in their life, can appreciate these range of emotions the average adolescent is experiencing every day and can encourage them through the up and down times, our education system will be impacted in a way most people can only probably dream about. The ripple effect through communities would be quite awesome. With all the challenges facing youth today – including the Covid-19 pandemic – parents, teachers, volunteer adult mentors and youth workers might need to rethink strategies as to how they will encourage these technologically savvy young people wanting instant gratification, to reach their potential during a time when their brains are still developing and they experience a roller-coaster of emotions.
Confused, trying to unravel, understand
Life’s intricate, pictureless puzzle
Through tinted, frustrated, alert eyes.
Outwardly disinterested, sharp listener.
Moody, rainbow emotions, whaddaya know?
Verbal protests mask insecure, fragile,
Awakening seeds of greatness.
Persevere. Walk in their shoes.
Occasional blistering painful experiences
Threaten to derail envisioned images,
Golden, sun-filled days; dreamy sweat-stained
Mountain peaks triumphantly conquered.
A stumble – curses, swears, mutters –
Potentially self-destructing, downward
Spiral rears a tortured head.
Respectfully reach out, take a hand;
Smiling, wise eyes, whisper softly, sincerely,
“I believe in you!”
The nurturing journey continues.