Wednesday, August 17, 2011


It is obvious that the youth in our society need more nurturing and guidance. We must step up and take our communities back. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through mentoring. Yup - that old "Each one teach one" or Each one reach one" philosophy really does work. There have been many studies to prove this fact. But do we really need studies to prove what common sense and history have already taught us?

The Merriam-Webster definition simply says "to advise or train (someone).

The USC Alumni Society describes their mentoring progam as "a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else. We all have a need for insight that is outside of our normal life and educational experience. The power of mentoring is that it creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for collaboration, goal achievement and problem-solving."

I asked 5 people what they thought the meaning of mentoring is. I got 5 different ideas on HOW to mentor, but the basic ideas of mentoring was the same:

1. Mentoring is passing on knowledge and information
2. Mentoring teaches culture
4. Mentoring teaches life skills
5. Mentoring teaches career and employment skills

So, basically, mentoring is the passing of skills, knowledge and wisdom from one person to another.

It doesn't take much to be a mentor. Just a little time and compassion. The structure of the mentoring relationship is not important. What is important is the learning experience. Mentors can teach what schools don't. Mentors can make a powerful and positive impact in someone's life.

Now, I don't have on my rose colored glasses, so I'm not saying that mentoring is the answer to every situation. There may be some who we can't reach. But there are many that can be helped just by you talking to them for a few hours a week.

It's time people. And I'm not just talking about Americans, blacks, whites or green people. I'm talking about people in general. You don't need to belong to any organization to be a mentor. All you need to do is invest a little time and compassion.

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