Chapter Twenty Two
Are You A Beyonder?
The horizon of life can be limited by the inability to see the great beyond. A prisoner in a cell becomes so accustomed to a life behind bars that they lose the ability to live beyond the bars. That's why the rate of recidivism is so high. A high percentage of people who are released get rearrested and reincarcerated because they cannot see beyond an imprisoned life style.
As a Mentor your task is to help someone "see beyond" and "go beyond." Creating a hunger in a child is the best way to motivate them. Removing demotivators (defeatist mindsets) is paramount in creating a space for hunger in the heart of a young person.
AID to MENTOR NAVIGATION Part 43
As children age and advance in the educational hierarchy, we present them with greater degrees of complexity in the learning process. Cognitive development is unique to each person and will dictate their ability to reconcile emotional imbalances. A Mentor/Teacher needs to develop the skills to create a learning environment that is conducive to the emotional storms in a child's life.
Picture a blow fish in your mind. The blow fish or puffer fish inflates itself as a defense mechanism against predators. The inflation causes it's spines to protrude further protecting itself. If a predator does bite the blow fish, it will either choke on the spines or it may receive a lethal amount of poisonous neurotoxins from the fishes body. The fish represents a child full of stress and anxiety that engulfs almost every aspect of their being. Unless you create space within that child, your efforts to help them develop critical thinking skills may be in vain. A child will protect their heart by lashing out at perceived attempts to force it where it is not ready to go.
A best practice in Mentoring is the ability to defuse emotional firestorms through compassionate listening. Make space in your teaching style to accommodate the emotional needs in your students. PMM or "Power Moment Mentoring" is simply defined as Mentoring in the power of the current emotional moment where the child exists. They cannot see beyond their current emotional state and neither should you. Help them to release anxiety before you attempt to teach.
AID to MENTOR NAVIGATION Part 44
Birds don't wear goggles or bifocals when they go fishing. Did you ever wonder how a bird in the sky can spot a fish under water? I've never seen a bird with binoculars! Humans and birds see differently for many reasons. What gives birds the ability to see beyond the surface of the water when they are looking for a meal?
Birds have the ability to see in two types of vision called binocular and monocular vision. This means that both eyes can work together to see straight ahead or each eye can see independently of the other. A bird's eye takes up a larger percentage of space on its head than a human eye does. The retina contains different colored drops of oil. Each species has oil that allows it to see effectively for its own individual lifestyle. A sea bird will have more drops of oil which is believed to help it block the glare of the water when searching for food.
Several years ago I was helping to teach a youth group at a local church. One particularly exasperating young man gave us a years worth of stress in about 2 hours. I remarked to one of the other youth leaders that this boy was a lost cause. I said: "Some kids are just never going to get it!" The other leader nodded his head in agreement. We had both just written him off our "beyonder list." We could not see beyond his immaturity - that was very immature of us!
I went home that night thinking that I had a good day as I lay down in bed. All of a sudden a guilt bird started flying around my gut. The voice I heard was almost audible: "Who do you think you are saying that boy will never get it? You got it didn't you?" I began to remember how far I had come in my own life journey. I had given many folks a whole lot of stress while growing beyond my immaturity. I felt guilty and I learned my lesson not to write any child off of my "beyonder list."
Birds can see in cloudy, foggy and murky conditions in large part due to the oil in their retinas. The oil of compassion in a Mentors heart will allow them to see through cloudy immaturity in people. Becoming a Beyonder requires the binocular vision of seeing what's right in front of you and the monocular vision that sees the wider vision of the big picture of possibility.
How's your eyesight? Do you have the ability to see beyond your current situation? My Grandmother always said: "There are better days ahead." My Mom always said: "This too shall pass." They were both Beyonders who believed in brighter days.
Thanks for your time.
Go do something nice for somebody.