Daily Nugget of Gold 905
We hear about this idea of mentoring and it sounds like a worthwhile and wonderful thing. Mentoring is imparting what we’ve learned to someone else who could benefit from it, and it often involves passing along the habits needed to implement the general or specific knowledge being imparted. In these ways mentoring is really a noble thing, a way of “giving back” or “paying it forward” as it were. In this activity, we find that there are rich rewards for the mentor as well as the person being mentored. Truly, our greatest rewards in life come from activities centered on giving. Anyhow, we actually didn’t open this topic to talk about any of that. What?
As we often do, we are going down a different road from there. We’re going to talk about unintentional mentoring, something most people don’t pay much mind to. Well, maybe except good parents to some extent. Wise parents are careful about the associations they’re offspring form, they will say, “I don’t want you hanging around with that crowd” or even such mean things as, “You need to be in by 10 P.M. because nothing good is going on after that.”. You’ll hear them say things like, “Birds of a feather flock together” and talk about the destructive nature of negative peer pressure.
This is discussion is centered not only on parents, however- but all of us. A great example would be of a person who doesn’t gossip but will sit idly in a gossip session listening intently. We would like to confess right here that we do this more often than we like, although lately when we’ve caught ourselves doing this we’ve been more torn between extricating ourselves from it or ending it by a defense mounted in the honor of the person being talked about. To do this in such a way as for the point to be made yet not be patently offensive to the person speaking is a fine line, indeed. What we do not wish to do for ourselves is appear to condone the negative behavior but to convey that in such a way as it actually has a chance of assisting the other party in making a better choice.
What we fervently don’t wish to be is a negative mentor, one who embodies negative behaviors in such a way as that other people take them up. That would be bad. How would you feel about yourself if you ended up ruining other people’s lives by your example? It’s as if you coax a kid to take hold of a bare wire and watch as they are electrocuted. Not fun. If we’re going to be a mentor of any kind, let’s take care to be a positive one, not a negative one. Does that make sense?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to keep the attitudes others pick up from me positive in nature?”
Copyright 2013 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.