The Word "mentor" comes from the Greek "Mentor" whom was the son of Alcumus in Homer's Odyssey. When Odysseus left to fight in the Trojan War, he left Mentor in charge to watch over his son, Telemachus. Mentor acted as a guide and confidant to Telemachus, in absence of his father. Upon the return of Odysseus from his ten year journey, (most recently Calypso), Athena took the form of Mentor in protection of Odysseus and Telemachus, because the level of trust and loyalty that both had put into Mentor would aid them in exacting revenge against the tyranny that had overgrown in Ithaca.
As we've recently crossed another "first" threshold since my grandmother's passing, (her July 28th birthday, she would have been 99 this year), memories swelled looking back at those in my life who have acted as a mentor; a teacher; a guide; a liaison, if you will, between known and unknown - such are the trades of a mentor.
Mentors bridge the gap between freely giving their life experience and giving insight to present goings-on, even if perhaps they know nothing of the subject. They know when not to get involved, yet know, also, when to give comforting thought without pressing an issue.
A mentor is not a passerby, although it can be argued that someone that is met only once can give valuable information. Rather, a mentor is someone that has been by your side for an extended period of time. I can think of several people, by reason of polarity, that have acted as such throughout my life. I say polarity, because I am a staunch believer in that one needs balance in life, and polar opposites sharing their experiences and opinions can only form a true basis of the persona that shapes our life.
This mentor is not just someone that we can rely upon. Knowledge lies within acceptance; acceptance of what they have to offer, yes, but accepting that we don't necessarily have to be near this person to feel their presence; we don't need to call this person on the phone all the time; nor Email, text, smoke signal, Morse code, or any other form of communication. This person is there when we need them; for the small pebbles, or the big rocks life throws at us, we needn't be in constant contact to know this to be true.
As you read this passage, I hope you ponder who your mentor is – is this person a friend? A school teacher? A co-worker? Someone that I talk to on-line, but have never met?
Tell that person thanks – before it's too late … mentors make us who we are – a thank-you is the least we can give them in return …
Respect is taken, when respect is given ...
Namaste and Slainte