Hello World, the topic of discussion this week relates to guidance! I recently found myself communicating with a group of young African American students (in Richmond CA). These particular groups of kids, more or less, have no positive role models. Without going into great detail, the young men and women I am referring to come from backgrounds similar to my own. Those experience being associated with lawlessness, social services and lacking academic success. So, the point I am addressing is the need for mentorship.
There are many of us who contribute as advisors and of course your contribution may never be recognized, yet, this is a different plea for help! I spoke to a young man who stated he could never see himself graduating from high school because he is not gifted intellectually. In clarification, I asked him if he meant to say that persons who graduate from high school are gifted intellectually? His answer was, “Yes.” A young lady I spoke with stated to laugh when I expressed desire to help her academically. I asked her why she thought my decree was humorous (not in those words), her response, “why do you care?”
I believe many issues we contend with as adult’s result from our childhood experiences. If we are able to adjust and develop through childhood in a nourishing fashion, we are more likely to become healthy adults. In my opinion, my healthy mentality stems from mentors who guided me through adolescents.
I asked these young men and women whom they thought of as mentors within their own households and community? The worse response I received was (and I quote) “the older home boy who gets that paper!”
Many of us have responsibilities that leave us with no time. I am not asking you to over extend your self (trust me, there are not enough hours in the day for me either). What I am asking you is to extend conversation to those young persons around you! Your neighborhood kids, your relatives’ children, a casual conversation with a young person about anything positive while you are standing in line at the local fast food restaurant. I see that as a promotion of opinion and the development of thought!
“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think (Margaret Mead).”