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January 19, 2018

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Mentors Are All Around You

Mentors Are All Around You

By Elizabeth Ghaffari

Looking for a mentor?

They’re all around you: at home,  school, play, work and in the media.

They’re our mothers, fathers, siblings and other relatives who have traveled these paths before us and can teach us simple truths: the joy of reading, how words are put together, teasing, different cultures, and different life experiences.  Our choice is to listen to their examples or ignore them. Gather those lessons and you can gain great wisdom and insight. Ignore and you’ll walk away empty-handed.

Mentors at school are the many teachers from elementary to graduate school who help us negotiate our awkward years.  It may take years for their lessons to sink in.

Mentors at play are coaches who, after four decades of equal access to sports funding, literally have a lifetime of team-building, coaching, training, conditioning and competitive experiences to guide us.

Mentors at work teach us that no job is too small or undignified. Every work opportunity brings a host of teachers, advisors, and role models and the “first” women in many lines of work guide us by having dared to be outstanding.

All these mentors provide the foundation for what we read, view or hear.  And in many ways we are defined by the media choices we make. If we focus on a lack of women in certain workplace sectors, we risk ignoring all the women role models and mentors.

The wisdom of mentors is everywhere—in your memories, the stories you tell yourself and each other, the pages you read, and the people you meet. How you tap that wisdom and make it your very own is the gift of mentorship.

Elizabeth Ghaffari is author of Tapping The Wisdom That Surrounds You: Mentorship and Women.

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