As we start this new year of mentoring, the question of why we do it is at the forefront of my mind. The answers vary from individual to individual, but mentors who enjoy this calling will agree with the following.
We mentor because we know life can be hard for children and adults alike. The reality of conflict within and without is always in front of us. Many children live in one parent homes; have been eye witnesses’ to conflict in the home that has resulted in physical damage or emotional damage. Many children seek to recreate the perfect family by getting pregnant in their teen. Some run away and others stay, but drop out of high school and get stuck in menial jobs believing that the pattern of their lives is now set.
We mentor to provide a door of hope, the scent of opportunity, to overwhelm the stench of defeat. Some parents who have suffered may desire to provide these same things to their children, but are sometimes blocked by the limits of their own ability to envision something better, or the tools to achieve the greater vision in their lives or the lives of their children. We help those parents by providing what they struggle to provide. We provide time with their children, where we can fan to flame positive hopes and aspirations, and present realistic tools to make that child’s (and sometimes parent’s dream for their child) a reality.
Why do we mentor? We do it for the children, we do it for the parents, we do it because God has loved us and equipped us! Why wouldn’t we, when God has blessed us with a vision, a purpose and an opportunity!!!
Hosea 2:14-16 (NIV)
14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. 15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. 16 “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.
When hope comes in, relationships change. Positive change is seen in our relationship to ourselves; our relationship to others; and our relationship to our community. We mentor so that our mentees can experience this positive change in their lives and the systems that impact that life.
Allison Bonilla LCSW