“In every art beginners must start with models of those who have practiced the same art before them. And it is not only a matter of looking at the drawings, paintings, musical compositions, and poems that have been and are being created; it is a matter of being drawn into the individual work of art, of realizing that it has been made by a real human being, and trying to discover the secret of its creation,” these are the words of Philosopher Ruth Whitman.
It is obviously true that as a teenager you at the stage of beginners in life and in the process of establishing a strong foundation for your life. This is a very delicate process because if you lose it now you might never recover. The honest truth is if you are going to be successful you will need a mentor.
Oxford Dictionary defines a mentor as an experienced and trusted adviser or an experienced person in an institution who trains and counsels new employees or students.
A mentor can be any one you trust who has the capabilities to mould you into what you want to become. He should have an interest in your future and also willing to spare time for you to share advice as and when you need it.
It is said that most kids these days do not listen to the elders because they think they know it all. The truth is, young people, no matter how gifted or intelligent they are, still need the elders for the well of invaluable wisdom and exposure that they have.
There is much that can be learnt from those that have walked the road before us. They know the road and they know the things to look out for. We can never know it all no matter how good we are so the elders become indispensable.
Someone once said there are only two ways to gain wisdom. The first one is buying and the second is borrowing it. The good thing about borrowing wisdom is you never pay the full price but if you want to buy you will have to pay the full price and at times its too costly. Would you rather find the dangers of your decisions on your own or rather be told the dangers and avert them before damage is done? Obviously you would pick the second choice right?
They say life is difficult from an exam because you in life you always learn the lesson after the test. That is why we need mentors. They have learnt the lesson already and we don’t have to fail the test first in order to learn.
Young people who excel at an early age also need serious mentoring because they can lose the plot and grow a big head. It is easy for a young person who has achieved some level of success at an early age to be lost and destroyed by that success if they are not mentored well.
Mentors will make sure that as a young person you don’t lose the plot or get complacent, they will help you see the bigger picture and the implications of your actions which your friends can never be able to do. They will give you danger signs when you start going down the wrong road.
It is your responsibility to look out for a mentor whom you will submit to for pruning and shaping of your life. He will be like the gardener of life, who will cultivate it and hoe out the weeds. You cannot afford to live without a mentor. The question that should be asked is who is your mentor?
By Glen Dhliwayo