“A river reaches places which its source never knows.” Oswald Chambers
Rivers always start somewhere.
The Ohio river starts in Cairo, Il, flowing out of the Mississippi. Then in Paducah, KY it joins with the Tennessee river. It intricately outlines Kentucky, coasting along Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and then merging with the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Pennsylvania. Eventually the water that coursed through the Ohio will end up in the ocean, coasting continents and joining other rivers.
In the end, the water that once touched my feet in Cincinnati will end up in a place I will never know or see. I am forever changed and the river is forever changed.
Life is difficult without guidance. Mentorships take all shapes and forms: in academia, in careers, in hobbies, in spirituality, and in life. The batons that are passed grace other lives when we mentor someone else with the wisdom our own mentor gives us. Really, mentoring and being mentored is an important part of growth.
What makes a good mentor?
Experience and Wisdom
Mentors don’t always have to be older, but they do need to travel the grounds before they can teach you the best route. When they experience parts of life before you, they can better empathize and use hindsight vision to prevent you from making the same mistakes. Wisdom is grown through the years, maturing into a richer insight for your ears to hear.
They need to tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. Good mentors don’t sugar coat the hard realities of life. In order to grow we need to wrestle with the rough patches. Though they tell you the truth, they won’t leave you hanging on a cliff. They climb with you, helping you along the way.
A good mentor has to have a heart for their mentee. They will cry with you and go to great lengths to make sure you are ok. They pour from their big hearts into yours because they want to, not because they have to. It is genuine and it is love.
Bob Goff says that we should constantly be poured into and constantly be pouring out. Twos should pour into Ones, Threes should pour into Twos, Fours should pour into Threes and so on. It’s a lot like stacked champagne glasses bubbling over the edge from the top glass, being poured into by the source.
Don’t be like the Dead sea.
Always flow out. Don’t hoard the blessing that someone is to you. Part of the growing processes is giving what you have received.
Generations will pass and the wisdom that was passed onto you will reach all four corners of the world, one river at a time.