Mentor Force is a collaboration of Mentors who work with teachers to reinforce study skills needed for a satisfactory education. Through the Common Core of Character Education, we help students deal with social and emotional issues that are barriers to learning. Our team approach to mentoring helps to raise grades, reduce suspensions and minimize behavioral problems. We mentor in the mountains. We mentor in the classroom. We teach mentors. firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, August 11, 2014
THE SCARED MENTOR
Fear is universal, sparing no human being who has a heart beat. Fear can be healthy or destructive. Mentors who develop a healthy balance between compassion and healthy fear will create a nurturing emotional environment for Mentorees.
Examine the following list of actions. Most would cause fear in some of us. Fear may be universal and yet fear isn't equal in the sense of what causes fear.
- Climbing on a cliff without a rope.
- Standing on the railroad tracks facing an oncoming train.
- Walking on a dark street in a city known for violence.
- Someone you love abandons or rejects you.
- You have to mentor a child labelled with Antisocial Personality Disorder.
- Death, Divorce, Disease, Bankruptcy.
- Speaking in public.
- Getting a speeding ticket.
- Being accepted.
- Beginning a new relationship.
- The child you are mentoring dies violently.
- Your reputation might be tarnished due to a failed mentoring relationship.
Some folks are perfectly comfortable on a cliff without a rope, walking city streets or speaking in public. It doesn't matter how you feel fear, it matters how you prepare and deal with fear when it happens. Fear can be passive, active or constantly shifting between the two. I won't bother to describe active fear because you'll know when you're scared by the perceived dangers on the battlefields in your mind. Here is the definition of the word passive as taken from Dictionary.com¹:
1.not reacting visibly to something that might be expected to produce manifestations of an emotion or feeling.
2. not participating readily or actively; inactive:
a passive member of a committee.
3. not involving visible reaction or active participation:
to play a passive role.
4. inert or quiescent.
5. influenced, acted upon, or affected by some external force, cause,
or agency; being the object of action rather than causing action (opposed to active ).
6. receiving or characterized by the reception of impressions
or influences from external sources.
7. produced or caused by an external agency.
Thinking about your fear of heights is passive. If you're planning on a mountain trek where you'll be exposed to new heights, your fear will begin to advance towards the stage of fear activation. A "Scared Mentor" can cause emotional damage to themselves and others when their fear becomes active. There are steps that you can take to deal with your fears.
There is an ancient Greek word; "gnosis" which means knowledge. A deeper meaning for the word is "intimate knowledge" or "knowledge from experience." Do you have an intimate knowledge of yourself? Do you know the root causes of your behaviors? Do you carry unresolved generational wounds from your family? You have to know your limitations. In the Movie; "Dirty Harry," Clint Eastwood plays a cop who is considered controversial, reckless and dangerous. Here are some quotes by Harry Calahan taken from Wickiquote,² my words are in parenthesis:
- "A man's got to know his limitations." (Set boundaries.)
- "Nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot." (Don't shoot other people when you are trying to conquer your own fears.)
- "This is a 44. Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world. It can blow your head clean off. You've got to ask yourself one question, Do I feel lucky?" (Fear can be the most powerful weapon in the world.)
What do you do when you are faced with the fear of working with a child who has been described as being anti-social? Treat them like any other child! All children are gifted and talented and deserve equal amounts of love. Many times we put labels on children who are reflecting the character that has been forced upon them at home. Injustice is not discriminatory in choosing which child to visit. Lack of compassion may be a generational scourge that becomes a burden laced with fear for a child. Be patient and don't give up. Seek out their particular uniqueness and help them flourish. Mentoring is a long term commitment.
Study to show yourself approved as a Mentor. You'll avoid fears that you can't overcome. You'll help others become overcomers by the fears you do overcome.
Thanks for your time.
Go do something nice for somebody.
Founder / Mentor Force
Mentor Force is an organization of initiators.
We help young people who are at risk of leading impoverished and violent lives.
We teach teachers, mentors, coaches, parents and youth leaders how to build healthy relationships that make young people feel valued.
Our goal is to ensure that every student has the benefit of being guided by a Mentor.
If we can help you reach your potential as a Mentoring organization please contact us: 716-830-8240
We are available for school assemblies and educator conferences.