BANGALORE: When the going gets tough, we all need a few words of encouragement, a warm hug, a radiant smile, a small pep-talk. We feel reassured that someone believes in us and soon “that someone” becomes our lifeline.
For small or big issues, we just need them. A mentor is what we call him. Mentoring too is just like how a mother holds her child’s hand while crossing the road. She protects him and at the same time teaches him.
Going back to the Greek mythology, Mentor was the son of Heracles. Odysseus, King of Ithaca, entrusted to him the responsibility of his son, Telemachus, while he went to fight the Trojan War. After the war, Odysseus was forbidden from returning home for 10 years. Telemachus ventured in search of his father. Athena, the Goddess of just warfare and patroness of the arts and industry, assumed the form of Mentor and accompanied him on his quest. Soon, The father and son reunite. From this story, the word Mentor evolved to mean someone who gives wisdom and can be trusted.
Talking to a few youngsters, we find out that mentors play a very important role in their lives. Sukriti and Mehnaz both look up to their brothers. “For me, through my difficult moments, my brother has always been there. Since he’s older to me, he has a lot of experience and knowledge. I go to him for all the things from the biggest to the smallest. I need that extra push before I do anything and that’s exactly what he does. He’s my backbone”, says Sukriti.
Mehnaz too says that her brother is her hero. “I’ve seen the way he deals with all situations. He’s handled them so well. He teaches me a lot. He’s my hero and my biggest mentor.”
Prerna, a student, feels unsure. “Trusting someone with all my problems isn’t something that I would do. How can I guarantee that the advice given to me is genuine? My life is my biggest mentor. I really can’t have someone dictating their terms to me. I would prefer to stumble and learn on my own”.
You necessarily need not have the presence of a physical person. Sometimes, books and movies also inspire you. It could be someone’s biography that you’d get inspiration from.
“I am my own mentor. My mistakes mentor me and make me a better person. Learning from my past - that is what keeps me going. I choose not to depend on anyone. I feel it can get harmful in a later period when that person isn’t around you. So I follow up on myself, teach myself, learn from myself and get inspired from myself. Experimenting and failing and learning is my mantra,“ says Doctor Vivek Parekh, a 25 year old dentist.
Soumya Bhasin, a student from Mount Carmel College feels that a mentor gives direction to life. “ A mentor helps you in doing something significant in life. My most consistent mentors are my grandparents. Even though they aren’t physically present, they always drive me to do my best. I’ve learnt a lot from their lives.” Eba Marie agrees. “A mentor to me is someone who helps me deal with the situation and circumstances with the right attitude in the right way. I believe that a strong, bold and courageous mentor is someone that we all need."