How do we guide our youth through the post-Covid months, perhaps years? What can we learn from our experiences throughout 2020 about life, relationships and the needs of our global community that must be addressed?
These are tough questions and there are no easy answers unfortunately.
Let me share some great thoughts from a variety of people. Some of these thoughts can be shared with mentees as well, as they love story-telling. At the end of each I’ll offer a spirit of mentoring tip or thought, as a word of encouragement.
The eagle and the wolf
There is a great battle that rages inside me.
One side is the soaring eagle. Everything the eagle stands for is good and true and beautiful, and it soars above the clouds. Even though it dips down into the valleys, it lays its eggs on the mountaintops.
The other side of me is the howling wolf. And that raging, howling wolf represents the worst that’s in me. He eats upon my downfalls and justifies himself by his presence in the pack.
Who wins this great battle?
The one I feed,
Spirit of mentoring tip: Consistently model sound morals and values to guide youth through their confusing adolescent years. Never cease being the positive role model who expresses unconditional love and care to your mentee. Look for and name the quality characteristics you can see in your mentee; identify and name their strengths and you build resiliency.
Attitude is important
Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.
The remarkable thing is, we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
Spirit of mentoring tip: Our circumstances do not define who we become. Encourage a positive attitude and a growth mindset and your mentee will soar on the wings of an eagle! Celebrate every small achievement or goal attained. Work hard at empathy to best understand how your mentee might be feeling. Praise your mentee’s efforts more than achievements.
There were two frogs that had become bored with life in the River Torrens, so they decided to go on an adventure to a neighboring dairy farm.
There they found a bucket of lovely cream, and decided it would be a wonderful experience to wallow in it. They hopped in. The first licked his lips with delight, and the two swam around with momentary joy. But cream is much thicker than water, and soon the frogs tired. It was time to get out and return to the Torrens.
The first frog kicked and kicked and kicked, but the cream was thick, and he couldn’t get out the bucket. Soon he gave up, licked his lips, and drowned in the bucket of cream.
The second frog was far more determined. He kicked and kicked and kicked some more. Eventually the cream turned to butter, and he jumped out of the bucket and returned to the River Torrens.
Attitude does make a difference to the outcomes of our lives. “Don’t give up on life. Kick on.”
Spirit of mentoring tip: Become the encourager who inspires your mentee to take calculated risks, never to fear failure and never to quit. Guide your mentee how to set and achieve personal goals which are measurable, specific and will stretch them out of their comfort zone. Share stories that promote the idea of exploring and developing their creativity, innovative spirit, and their resilience.