Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mentoring should be mandatory

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From page A8 | December 14, 2013 | 5 Comments

To live life without guidance is reckless. The question is; where to find that guidance?

We all need a little help navigating through the challenges of life that we all will face at some point. Unfortunately, we all also suffer from the potentially deadly disease called hardheadedness. To our demise, we often fall into self-righteousness and thinking that we have all the answers.

We are never too old or too grown to have a mentor.

Someone who is both wise and experienced in different aspects of life would be an appropriate mentor.

Although I am a mentor for many, I also have mentors myself. I have a career mentor, a spiritual mentor and a financial mentor who all advise me in those particular fields. I know we’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t be a follower, be a leader.” However, a leader must have a lead to follow. (Jeremiah 10:23) “. . . It does not belong to man walking to direct his own step.” How is that for a slice of humble pie?

I believe men in particular will allow our ego to prevent us from seeking help when we know we need it. Some of us won’t even ask for directions when we know dang well we are lost. Not just on the road but in life. Somehow once we become adults, we have accepted the distorted perception that to need a coach, adviser, mentor or counselor is a sign of weakness.

A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser or teacher. The term mentor comes from Greek mythology. When Odysseus was about to leave on his long journey, he assigned his good friend Mentor to be the guardian and tutor of his son, Telemachus.

Many local and national leaders agree that the key to improving the deteriorating conditions of today’s youth generation is mentoring. A mentor is not always an old, bearded “wizard-looking guy.” A good mentor can actually be younger than you, but wise beyond their years. They can be male or female.

As a youth advocate, I believe that most responsible adults should contribute to the need by becoming a formal or informal mentor. An informal mentor provides coaching, listening, advice, sounding board reactions, or other help in an unstructured, casual manner. A formal mentor agrees to an ongoing, planned partnership that focuses on helping the mentee reach specific goals over a specified period of time.

Most people assume that being a mentor is too time consuming. Thanks to modern technology, you can now mentor more individuals at the same time and in different locations. You can communicate advice and exchange information through smartphones, social media, voice mails and email. I have a healthy group of mentees that I currently work with on a weekly basis. I send out a digital voice message called . . . the motivational mentoring minute. The recipients are encouraged to respond through text, email or cellphone.

Family members are often unofficial mentors to their siblings or younger relatives.

There is a reason to be cautious. Everyone who is close to you may not be the one to trust as a mentor. Some so-called friends and family can actually be a negative influence on you. It’s a good idea to keep in mind to keep people around you who truly have your best interests at heart.

Remember that you are the CEO of your life and have the authority to promote, demote or fire people.

Deon Price is a freelance writer and youth life skills coach who lives in Fairfield. He can be reached at Deondprice@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/youthgeneration.

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Discussion | 5 comments

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  • CD BrooksDecember 14, 2013 - 7:28 am

    I can't argue Deon. And sometimes the "help" you never knew or thought you needed just sort of shows up in your life and you really don't understand their efforts intentional or otherwise until much later. My brothers and I were raised with respect and good manners. Problem was, we grew up in a neighborhood where that didn’t have a lot of value on the street! So some things are unavoidable and they often “stick” in ways that affect all of us differently and how we move forward. I was 30 years old when my "mentor" came along, married with two kids and still walking around with that “chip” wearing it proudly. He was highly respected at my work place and I was given the opportunity to learn another part of the business from him. It was possibly the best four years of my life. And more importantly, his wisdom and guidance gave me the direction I needed to be a better man. I still have that “edge" I developed in my youth and as I often say it has served me well. But managing situations and people became less a challenge and over time, I began to see the difference. I owe that to my dear friend or “mentor” if you will, and I will be forever grateful to him.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DeonDecember 14, 2013 - 8:24 am

    CD, Thanks for sharing bro. It sounds like you, like many of us, become a bit more humble as we mature. The rolling 20s will either make us or break us. I maintain that that 10 year period will usually determine the quality of a persons life. Those critical years are when we need mentors the most. If you would like to return the favor and be a mentor for a young man, please reach out to me via email or like us on facebook/thisyouthgeneration. We have over 300 in our network that need a mentor. Thanks again for sharing.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lelou88December 14, 2013 - 10:41 am

    Wow, I absolutely love this article! I hope to see more of your writing. & CD, I always enjoy your comments as well.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensDecember 14, 2013 - 8:18 am

    Mentoring is more then just counseling Deon. And your welfare and illegal alien underclass pals are in dire need of more then just that.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DeonDecember 16, 2013 - 2:15 pm

    Actually, Mr Giddens, mentoring could be as simple as being a listening board and offering suggestions to being a valuable resource for someone to help them through what ever challenges they face. Not sure what welfare or illegal aliens have to do with this discussion. I assume it's your pathetic attempt to insult a certain group of people.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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