Prompt: Have you ever had a mentor? What was the greatest lesson you learned from him or her?
Those of you who have followed me for some time, know that I have written about my ‘mentor’ frequently, not that I’ve called her that, but it’s just one more way that I thought of her….. ‘my mother’.
Mothers teach their children so many things, in so many ways and for many reasons. Some teach because it is their duty as they see it, to instill in their child the things they need to know to grow up and take their place in the world. If that is the only reason, then that child may know the how and why of learning, but yet be lacking in the human aspect along the way. Most mothers of course, love their children and try to teach them right from wrong. But again, if it is not explained why something is right or wrong, then something very important gets missed.
When the second question of this prompt was asked, it was so hard to pick the ‘greatest’ lesson learned , I thought of so many things my mother instilled in me like how to be honest, to obey, and to be polite, and so many more.
Maybe the ‘greatest’ thing I learned was that for every behaviour that someone displays, there is a reason for it that we may not know, that no one may ever know. From a very young age I was taught to be kind to everyone. There was instilled in my very thinking and being to not judge others, but instead to try to understand and if possible reach out to them. As a child, it was second nature to try to be a friend, as an adult it was to recognize that sometimes the greatest gift you could give someone was ‘understanding’. That does not necessarily mean that you agree with everything the person is saying or doing, but that if they care enough to talk to you about it, then you can listen without judging. If they value your opinion and ask for it, then it is yours’ to offer.
In retrospect, I suppose that in actual fact the ‘greatest’ lesson is actually ‘love’… the purest form of love. The kind that respects every person you meet; the kind that looks for the best in someone even if it is not fully evident; the kind that says “you’re not perfect and so what, neither am I”; the kind that even when you’ve been hurt, your first thought is not how to get even.
Love after all is a gift that can be accepted when offered, and freely given even if not asked for, or deserved.