Life can be difficult, there’s no getting around it. Whether the difficulties stem from an overload at work, a test score that puts you down in the dumps, or an accumulation of things you’ve bottled up and that are on the verge of erupting, everybody experiences the precariousness that goes along with growing up. With January being deemed “Mentor Month,” we decided to discuss why it’s time to appreciate the importance of being a guiding hand in others’ lives.
Mentors are more than just mere advice givers—they are valuable resources that can aid anyone, whatever their background, to fulfill their highest potential.
Growing up, I was a member of my local Girl Scout group from the age of 7 to 18. At the time, it seemed like a good way to make friends, a place to have fun and a way to tack on an extracurricular for college applications. But in the time since my middle school and high school years as a Girl Scout, I realize that it had so much more of an impact than even I knew. While it did help me make friends and have fun, it also gave me the opportunity to learn and grow as a person—all thanks to the women, mothers, and older students who were willing to give up their time to help a group of little girls grow up. Looking back, it makes me grateful to know that I was surrounded by a group of women who dedicated their time and energy to being mentors to dozens of young girls, and teaching them about what it means to be an active, compassionate, and strong member of society. Without the Girl Scouts I wouldn’t have learned half the things about myself that I now hold dear.
From helping young girls discover their strengths, passions and talents in the Girl Scouts, to helping those in difficult situations find their way through, becoming a mentor can change the lives and the futures of individuals in extraordinary ways.
But there is so much more to mentorships than meets the eye.
Being a mentor is beneficial to all parties involved, and has the ability to turn into a cycle of giving. The little boy, who had his favorite teacher to rely on every day in school, may just be empowered enough to want to spread his love of learning and become a teacher himself. Or possibly the woman who was so nervous on her first day on the job, but whose boss was kind enough to guide her through, is the one who helped you on that nerve wracking first day in the office.
In no matter what form—whether it be parenting, teaching, coaching, or just being a willing shoulder for others to lean on— the magic of being a mentor comes from the ability to propel new meaning into other people’s lives. With the holiday’s just wrapping up, and the New Year still fresh, what better time than the present to start spreading the love and making a difference by being somebody for others to lean on and learn from.