By Joel Elveson, Columnist & Featured Contributor
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]HERE ARE DISTURBING EVENTS that are occurring in our society today with frightening regularity. Putting aside terrorism related events or acts committed by violent extremists there still exists a pattern of anti-social behaviors that are originating from all walks of life. On the outside these individuals seem quite normal but underneath there is a raging inferno of urges to hurt themselves or others or perhaps both at the same time.
One of the most prevalent theories as to why these events are becoming as regular as they are is that there is a shortage of mentors. People who will give of their time to guide or lend a sympathetic ear to another individual without passing judgement or making the person they are mentoring feel like they are being judged.
Who needs a mentor? The list of category’s that need mentoring encompasses a very wide and varied spectrum. There is a common misconception that only children or teenagers need mentors. The fact is even corporations need mentors. Who else needs or could use a mentor? The answer quite simply is just about anybody.
In the case of a corporation they need mentoring as to how to conduct their business with the highest degree of ethics while still maintaining a healthy profit margin. Those businesses who are known to turn over large profits often unknowingly become models which others want to follow. If unethical practices go unnoticed or unpunished it may spur others to take on the “if they can do it and get away with it why can’t I” type of mentality
Aside from trained social workers, and psychotherapists religious leaders (Rabbi’s, Priests, Pastors, etc.) have incorporated mentoring of their congregants or community into their regular responsibilities. They have the ability to reach people with greater positive impact than many professionals can.
Although those named above are not in short supply more people who can mentor are needed. Many amongst us will ask or will be asked if they are able to mentor. There are few amongst us who in one way or another cannot mentor another person. If you have compassion in addition to a big heart along with a desire to help chances are you able to mentor.
Depending on who you wish to mentor formal training may not be needed. In extreme cases such as people who are prone to attempting suicide or acts of mass murder if you are not formally trained you should not under any circumstances take on this challenge. There is a huge risk of you getting hurt or agitating a fragile situation.
Sadly all of the ills that are infecting many segments of our society will not be cured by mentors. The root causes of these behaviors must be delved into. Even with endeavoring to do that there will still be those whose fragility may cause a sudden “snap” often resulting in a tragic event.
To summarize we know mentors are urgently needed. We have a pretty good idea who needs a mentor. Lastly we see what mentoring involves and the types of people who have the ability to do it. The only thing I neglected to mention is the tremendous work you are doing.