For the past couple of years I have volunteered as a mentor at a local elementary school. It was a ton of fun. I hung out with a kindergarten student each year and helped them read and spell and do basic math. This year I thought I would step up my game a bit and be a mentor to a high school student. Our first mentoring session several months ago. I made a good choice.

It is amazing how much I don’t remember about Algebra 1. Ok. I can get most of the answers right, but working them on paper! Oy vey. After the initial shock the fog lifted from my brain and I started to help him with his homework. (I was also amazed to think it has bee over half my life ago that I was in Algebra 1!) We did about 10 problems together. I loved it. I think he enjoyed the time as well. I know he was happy to have his math homework done. More than that, I think he was happy to have someone older sit with him and work through the problems until he understood.

Mentoring is a big need these days. Sharing our knowledge and time with people who need it is vital. I think the need gets overlooked and often. We live in a very individualized society. Many people choose the path of “I did it all by myself”. Should that really be a badge of honor? Should we have to struggle through things needlessly? I don’t think so. While we are individuals, we contribute to a community. If one person in the community suffers we all do. If we have chances to help others and inspire, we should.

As we worked through the problems he looked up at me and grinned. The expression of understanding spread across his face. Something that was confusing became clear. I love that moment.

I want to live my life like this. I want people to see a good model for living. When I need help I want to ask for it. Where I can give help I want to offer it. I want to be who God created me to be. If I get to be that and help others do the same, I think I will be satisfied when it is all said and done. I improve as I help others improve.

People are watching anyway. Do I lead them to being better, because I am striving to be better? Or do I settle, and watch the world around me do the same?

Who do you know that needs a mentor?

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