Monday, August 17, 2009

Tony's Two Minute Mentor Tips

Mentor Tip: Something to think about...

A mentor writes: I am so frustrated because I see the struggles that my mentee is going through to try to become a man and I don’t know how to make it easier or less painful for him.

For this guy, and all of our mentors, here’s something to think about...

We can be here for our mentees; to confide; to advise; to support. But we’re not here to take away their pain… solve their problems…force their growth…

TRUST THE PROCESS. Life is a process by which we are molded. The pain and conflict in a kid’s life, indeed even in the mentoring process is the stuff that creates the necessary pressure for growth to occur. Consider the following story:

A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it

home so that he could watch the moth come out of the

cocoon. On the day a small opening appeared, he sat

and watched the moth for several hours as the moth

struggled to force the body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared

as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go

no farther. It just seemed to be stuck. Then the man,

in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a

pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of

the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a

swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man

continued to watch the moth because he expected that,

at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be

able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the

rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body

and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not

understand was that the restricting cocoon and the

struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny

opening was the way of forcing fluid from the body of

the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for

flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle.

By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the

moth of health.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our

life. If we were to go through our life without any

obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as

strong as what we could have been.

Just know that without you, your mentee would still be going through the same struggles. With you they have someone to talk to, someone to encourage, and someone to believe in them. Don’t underestimate the value in that.

Tony LoRe

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