Mentoring and Training

The other day at the coffee shop I chanced into a conversation with a young woman. She is a local community college student who is heading toward a degree-granting (BA/BS) university. She was full of enthusiasm for a career. She knew what she wanted to do.

I started thinking (that’s my weakness, but fortunately not while she was talking) that what people want to do is a question of training them in a skill. They can do computer science, plumbing, tool making, selling, marketing, writing.

But, what if we who are older and have been down the road realize that what is even more crucial is to help people realize who they can be.

Sometimes these things can be accomplished at the same time. I help teach young people how to become a soccer referee. That’s a skill. But that’s only the first step. Of course, they must continue to develop their skills–foul recognition, mechanics, physical stamina.

We also teach them how to be. Through providing them games and mentoring, we show them how to develop strength of character, decision-making skills, people skills. These things help them grow as people no matter what they choose to do with their lives.

Then we can reflect  even on ourselves as we are mentoring young people–realizing that learning should never end; evaluating who we are vs who we want to be; growing in emotional intelligence.

As we get older, one thing we should become is a mentor. Pick someone, help lead them into becoming what they can be. Help them explore their spiritual gifts and talents.

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