By Volunteers Selvalakshmi (Pondicherry) & Adhithya Mohan (Kochi)
How often in life have you been at an incredibly challenging intersection and wondered how easy it would have been if you just had someone you could speak to and seek advice from? That was you, craving for a mentor. And in all likelihood, you’ve also had your own Eureka moments in life when an epiphany hit you out of the blue. It’s during times like these when you wish you had someone to share your little bit of wisdom with. That was probably you, craving for a mentee, for someone to help and pass on your insights to.
In reality, we need a mentor and a mentee in life to help maintain a balance as we travel down the road of life, from one achievement to the next.
From Oprah to Zuckerberg, everybody needs a beacon of hope, a mentor, for every human being basks in the sunshine of human support for the most part of our lives.
So, behind every successful person, there’s a mentor who helped them along the way. Some of the most prominent people in history have also been helped to succeed by some of the most well-known people of our time.
In all it’s a glory, to be a mentor is a huge commitment – to have the foresight to guide another person through life’s curveballs with the wisdom from one’s life in hindsight. To be a mentor is to ignite a spark of coexistence. To be a mentor is to set a ripple of goodness into motion. The benefactor of the mentor’s wisdom- mentee is someone who is shown the way and helped to pursue goals.
To be a mentor is to be the person you needed when you were younger.
Some famous examples as quoted earlier include the stories of Oprah and Mark.
Best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah Winfrey was mentored by author and poet, Maya Angelou. Similarly, Former Apple Inc. CEO the late Steve Jobs served as a mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The two developed a relationship in the early days of Facebook and often met to discuss the best business and management practices for the company.
But what is in it for the mentor to give their all in this painstakingly arduous task of compassion?
No one has ever become poor by giving, for kindness is inexhaustible and kindness is contagious. A butterfly effect that sustains mankind.
Often unnoticed is the latent reverse mentoring that happens seamlessly.
Apart from the glaring improvement that a mentor attains in terms of skills, the task exacts the mentor to be mindful – mindful of his choices, his strengths, his weakness, his beliefs and his emotional status. A mental makeover of sorts.
Also, having a mentee is beneficial in its own ways. But how?
Having a mentee encourages knowledge-sharing. A mentor is a senior person, meaning that in all prospect, they have accomplished their own goals already. With a mentee, the mentor finds a sense of purpose once more and finds something to work towards after they’ve fulfilled their own dreams and goals. Akin to how the mentor opens up new perspectives for the mentee, the mentor also learns to look at things from the perspective of the mentee.
Thus, having a mentee introduces the mentor to fresh and new interesting ideas and approaches. This is advantageous to the mentor because it keeps their brains active and allows them to continue the lifelong process of learning along with helping who is in need.
The companionship that brew between Emperor Napoleon and Betsy Balcombe stands as a testimony as to how the light that shines from youthful minds rejuvenates and detoxes the perturbations of adulthood.
It is important to regard youngsters especially as invaluable resources seeking to be tapped and not just as rocks to be chiselled.
This beautiful, subtle plot twist happens in every mentor – mentee relationship, for we rise by lifting others.