Next-Door Mentor

I have some people-watching moments, which seem to multiply as I grow older. Nothing freaky here either, just personal observations that usually reveal umdiscovered bits of self. Some of those people’s behaviour, choices and reactions give, almost miraculously, a refreshing sense of perspective.

‘We stand and we are an example’, one of them said. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re being watched – as improbable as this may sound in our frenzied-sharing universe, I thought. It’s hard to imagine that we might be causing something to happen, but it is as factual as this piece of writing.

I used to think that mentors come once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky. I still can’t determine if I’m lucky or not, or if higher fates play a part in this, so  I’ve slowly come to appreciate, and praise, the mentors next door. The mentors who, quite probably unbeknown to them, put a shape or add new perspective to my endeavours. A lot of them are not teachers. They’re labourers, parents and grandparents. They’re sometimes homeless, alone or forgotten. They’re young. or they might be older. They’re life-wise, but still have a lot to learn themselves.

They’re mine, just as I am theirs. This is an exchange. A learning exchange, where you both follow and give expert advice, you both listen and are listened to,  you take and you give back. Mentoring is not copying, it’s an extension to our potential; it isn’t following higher beings on pedestals, it is managing to listen and stand level.

This section is all about them and what they help me see.