There is a famous line in an episode of the television show Friends. One character ignorantly uses the word Mento instead of the word Mentor. It’s a very funny line, but the point he was trying to make is very important. The only difference in the two words in English is the letter r. So today I ask, are (r) you being a mentor to someone?
Before you answer, let me guess, your sentence starts with the phrase, “But I’m not a …” , or “I’m just a …”. I know how you feel, however, I also know this, you know something.
I’ve heard bakers talk with great reverence about the men who taught them how to make a cake, or to decorate it. Actors have been in awe of other actors who were teaching them how to pretend to be someone else. At face value, it might not seem as important as public office, or as noble as military service, except for one thing.
Baking great cakes fed that man and his family. Winning an Oscar may not have brought peace to a country, but the grips, gophers, and stunt men paid their mortgage. All because someone realized that they had a craft, a skill, some piece of wisdom to pass on to others.
If your favorite former President spent two hours with a group of people, imparting all they knew about being President, how many would follow in his direct path? Oh, the information would be useful, but it probably wouldn’t guarantee occupancy in the White House. The baker’s skills would be more applicable than the former President in this case.
What are you skilled at that might help others feed their family? What can you do that might keep a teenager off the streets and give them a better future? You and I may never be able to teach physics, but we can teach something. From painting to plumbing, we all have skills of some kind.
The great ones in any industry, whether it was with a pipe wrench or a paint brush, taught others how to do what they knew. Making a difference isn’t about single handedly changing the face of a nation, it’s about changing the face of the one that is in front of you.
Find an outlet to teach, look for a way to reach, evaluate what you know. Pull out your mental toolbox and see what items you have that can build a vehicle for someone else. None of us are void of the ability to do something, therefore none of us are limited from impacting others.
Once you realize your own abilities, then you’ll be ready when an opportunity to share with another reveals itself. Joey, the character in Friends may not have had the right word, but he did have the right idea. One is a sugary item of little substance, the other brings about sustainable transformation. Are we a mento or a mentor?