Being a mentor to anyone is not easy but being a mentor to a child or youth who’ve experienced trauma and/or instability, can be especially difficult. Fulfilling this important role for a child or youth who is healing from various hurts such as neglect, abuse or unmet mental health needs takes a lot of patience, commitment, empathy, good humor, compassion, creativity and, last but not least, time. Is it any wonder that we as a nation dedicate an entire month to celebrate the role of mentoring and those who choose to mentor?
As many of you know, I am passionate about gardening; probably a little OCD in that regard. I love gardening because it is cyclic, dynamic and ever-changing. Each season brings something new and delightful. I just spent several days pruning our 12 fruit trees. Each tree is like a sculpture to me, needing to be shaped and formed in order to create a new crop of delicious fruit. And, each one will be different from what it was the year prior. Each tree will have a “New Year” unique to itself. All of nature is this way–our lives are this way!
Do you ever get weary of our arrogant, bombastic culture; talking heads who “know it all” but just spew meaningless hot air? How did we get to the place where rude is cool, where one’s personal opinion is better than anyone else's, where “my way or no way” rules the day?! Our current president is a prime example of arrogance and haughtiness at its pinnacle – but he is only a symptom of much deeper corruption in our cultural values and social mores. As a society, we have created an environment which encourages and nourishers people like this to thrive.