Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pass It On!!

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday!  I decided 40 is the new 20... well, not quite.  20 was a very interesting time of life for me.  I didn't know anything and thought I knew everything.  I was uncertain about many things, mostly about me and my value to others.  Maybe I was uncertain about my value to me.  Anyway, although I enjoyed those years, I wouldn't want to be 20 again (see a picture of me and my college crew to the left.  Can you find me?).  I like the me I've become.  I'm enjoying my growing comfort with myself and how that plays out in all the various roles I take on from day to day.

I spent my birthday week in Jamaica and got the opportunity to see people I hadn't seen in more than 5 years (that's me at my birthday party in Jamaica).  As I interacted with friends and family, I was struck by the amazing gift I received of friendships with people about 10 - 15 years older than I was.  As a teenager, knowing nothing about having a mentor, I was privy to 'real life' from my 20+ year old friends.  They helped me develop perspectives on life that were beyond my personal experiences.  I looked at some younger friends of mine, listened to their stories about the time we had been apart, and thought about the gaping chasm that would have been there had I not been able to stand on the shoulders some older, sometimes wiser folks.  I heard about slip-ups, fumbles and bruises that could have been avoided if they only knew...

Tef's post reflecting on the decisions that need to be made in the late teens and 20's reminded had me thinking about my role, my opportunity to Pass It On.  He shared such wisdom, stuff that so many younger people may not get to hear until they discover it on their own.  Self discovery is wonderful, but wouldn't it have been great to have understood the value of networking before sending out the 500 resumes to have them fall out of some fax machine, unto the floor, never to be seen again?

A Mentor: a facilitator in someone else's journey 
(Faith's  definition)

We all have wisdom that so many others could benefit from.  Some of us may write books and pass that wisdom on.  Some may give wonderfully inspiring speeches and pass it on.  But, the lime light isn't the only way.  We can set an intention to be a mentor (see definition above) whenever someone could benefit from our presence.  The 'someones' may have to seek us out, but we can seek them out too!

One of the reason's I'm happy that I run a home program for Jaedon is the steady influx of people in their 20's  passing through my home.  Some stay for a few weeks, some for several months.  However long our relationship, I open myself up and give whatever I have that may be valuable or useful to them.  I have no idea  what the outcome of my investment will be for any specific individual.  I only know that I get to pass it on, as it was passed to me.  So I definitely tell them to network, build relationships, explore their beliefs and anything else that seems relevant in the moment.

I'm thinking of expanding the scope of my home program to include my other 2 children, to attract a wider range of people, on one level, to support my homeschooling efforts, but on another level, to be available to some other younger adults on their own life journey.

There are so may ways to Pass It On.  Here are a few thoughts:
  • Recruit young people to help you in some home project.  College students could really gain from what you already know and seeing you perform in the 'real world'.
  • Schedule a coffee with someone that pops to mind as you read this post
  • Do you run a business?  Get interns to help.
  • Volunteering in a youth club, religious youth group, Key Club, Boy Scouts, ....
  • Partnering with a child as a Big Brother/Sister
  • Reaching out to a friend's son/daughter on facebook and saying 'hey!' and starting to build a relationship.
  • And so many more...
Your life's experiences are like fruit for the picking.  Get your fruit around some more people so they can pick and learn, like I'm learning from so many wonderful people right now.  Pass It On! 

1 comment:

  1. Thnx for the inspiration - I heard that women in their forties are truely beautifull.
    - I'll follow soon....


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