August 2, 2013.
“As for me, I feel better addressing you by the name, “My Father,” not only because I am your God-son, but because of the role of a biological father you played in my life. In few months time, I will record what I consider as the first major achievement of my life.
Sir,I am not only grateful to you for having initiated it…I am indebted to you…I plan to donate this trophy of words after my final exam to you…I wish to publicly express my gratitude to you. I want you to know that you mean so much to me…
“Don’t give up on me” was the message I sent to you after running away… you didn’t give up on me. Rather, you gave me second chance…
You will not give up on me. I may not look like the kind sons you wish to have but I promised in as much as you won’t give up on me, someday you will certainly be proud to answer my father.”
I just couldn’t do it. Not anymore.
Afam’s impassionedness and use of glowing language in reminding me of how I didn’t give up on him despite what he did; how I inspired him to pursue his educational dream against all odds he encountered; and how I played the role of a father and mentor in his life – opened the floodgates of tears when I read what he wrote on my blog. I just couldn’t do it. The floodgates had opened. And I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hold the tears. Not anymore!
I was touched. So deeply touched.
As I read further, I could recall his skepticism whether I would accept to ride with him on his motorcycle that hot afternoon to see his business which was many miles away from my office. That ride was the beginning of a congenial relationship that would last for years thereafter. He shared his life with me. I shared my life with him, too. And though he ‘brushed me aside,’ I kept in touch with him. We met again in another city and the relationship climbed to another level. But we lost contact temporarily after I left the country. Yet, memories of the times we shared together and the warm affection that had brewed in my heart drove me to seek him out on social media. I found him. We reconnected. It’s amazing how love, personal sacrifice, and genuine desire to help people can bring enormous change in their lives. It’s amazing to look back and see growth take place in an individual because I decided to be a Merchant of Hope. Oh, the joy of playing the role of a mentor!
That’s what they do!
W call them Mentors. I call them “Merchants of Hope.” Why?
Because they inspire defiant optimism. They push the limits. They help others succeed. They are passionate about people development. They want to see people grow. They love people, not because of what those people have, or what they expect to gain from them. They love people because they want to see them become all they could ever be. They believe in people and are irrevocably committed to them. Irrevocably. Regardless. Inspite of. That’s what they do. That’s what they keep doing. It’s implanted in their genes. It’s coded into their DNA.
Talking about believing in people, I particularly like how Max Lucado writes about one man who unconditionally believed in people – Jesus:
“No one believed in people more than Jesus did. He saw something in Peter worth developing, in the adulterous woman worth forgiving, and in John worth harnessing. He saw something in the thief on the cross, and what he saw was worth saving. And in the life of a wild-eyed, bloodthirsty extremist, He saw a fiery preacher who would go on to write more than two-thirds of the New Testament Canon. He saw Paul in Saul. He believed in Saul.”
Not less than the best.
People have limitless potential locked-up within them. They have stupendous deposit of incredible gifts and talents. Diamonds in the rough. They are much more than what they are. They can do much more than what they have done. All that they are is incomparably not all that they are. All that they have been is definitely not all that they could be.
Well, even though you may be much more than what you are – potentially, you can remain what you are. Because where and whose you are are proven determinants of who and what you would be – eventually. Even though you are more than this, where you are could cause you to be less than this, or to remain like this. Location matters. By whose you are, I mean the person who holds your ladder. If you must go farther faster, you must stand on the shoulders of those who have gone way ahead of us. You’ve got to find someone who has done what you’re trying to do excellently well, connect and stick with him. A person who makes deposits in your life. A mentor.
Here’s my definition of a Mentor: “A mentor is any person who walks with you, works with you, works on you to work up and work out the potentials in you.”
Any person. No titles.
Here’s how mentoring can help you go farther, faster:
(1) Mentoring is about seeing potential.
(2) Mentoring is about unearthing potential.
(3) Mentoring is about polishing potential.
(4) Mentoring is about publishing potential.
(5) Mentoring is about deploying potential.
(6) A mentor sees potential in the mentee when the mentee is oblivious of it.
(7) A mentor leads the mentee when the mentee is ‘blind’.
(8) A mentor affirms the mentee when the mentee is bruised.
(9) A mentor walks with the mentee when the mentee is scared.
(10) A mentor works on the mentee even when the mentee is tough.
(10) A mentor works on the mentee even when the mentee is complicated.
(11) A mentor reaches down to the potential in the mentee even if the potential lies deep down.
Well, this isn’t an exhaustive treatise on mentoring. Hopefully, this would challenge mentors, and guide prospective mentees.
In your experience as a mentee, how has your mentor helped you go farther, faster? Or if you’re a mentor, how have you helped your mentee to go farther, faster? Please share your experience below, as well as your thoughts about this post.