It's late summer...
… in 2016 and I am on a brief, quick journey through parts of Oregon and Washington. The past 100 hours have given welcome glimpses of just how LDG’s Whole-Person Mentoring Model has impacted lives across the decades. Meaning-filled conversations have easily evolved with women and men from late teens into their mid-60’s.
Last evening we, in our 70’s, even got “inducted” into observing the current Pokemon craze in a huge park in downtown Bellevue, WA. A vibrant young woman (late teens) told we three couples (in our 60’s and 70’s) she was there with her mother chasing whatever rare creatures were to be found. Kids in strollers (the better for parents to race across the grass) had devices to follow the game.
I stood there amazed at the intergenerational experience we were witnessing. People were outside. All were moving around the park as fast as young to olde legs could carry them.
Laughter was there in abundance. Young people were interacting with olders. Olders were feeling young again. Everyone was helping even strangers find “those little things.”
Life, a little crazily, was happening. On this Monday morning I’m still smiling at what we witnessed last evening.
What does that have to do with mentoring men? Or women? Of any age?
In previous weeks we’ve shared, thanks to members of Leadership Design Group’s Mentoring Development Team, some valued thoughts about mentoring women. This month we are writing about mentoring men.
Often, in conversations with strangers all the way to having good talks with people we’ve known for decades, people have their own definitions of what mentoring is. Those who come from a faith-based background will ask, “Isn’t that just discipleship?” To which I will respond, “That’s part of mentoring.”
Others will ask, “Isn’t that just life-coaching?” To which I will respond, “That is a valuable part of whole-person mentoring.”
Still others will chime in with “Isn’t that just teaching some skills for work and life?” To which I will respond, “That, too, is a part of LDG’s mentoring model.”
The best of mentoring,
will always have in mind the whole person,
no matter what dimension of a person’s life,
you may be focusing on,
no matter their age.
It is a deep truth
that every part of our lives
has impact on everything else about our lives.
My wife, Judy, and I began yesterday doing breakfast with two university freshmen, new to this “event” called higher education. Then we did coffee with a man we’ve known since his own college days, even having the sincerely fun privilege of being with him when he saw, years ago, for the first time the young woman who would eventually become his bride, and now they are grandparents several times around. The day concluded with two other couples with whom we have, over the decades, shared the heartaches and joys of life.
Whether younger or older, caught up in this summer’s Pokemon craze or the “craziness” of current politics, experiencing joy or sorrow, catching hope-filled glimpses of new dreams or nursing the wounds of dreams dashed, female or male, how are you and I living fully, intentionally, into who we were each designed to be?
The male of our species, that be we men, often find we allow the clutter of life, the necessity of earning a living, the repair of cars, homes, even our bodies, to take us away from focusing on all of who we are. It’s far too easy, in our western culture, to first define ourselves by what we do rather than who we are.
However, if we men are to live as whole people, humans who are experiencing life to the full, even in the midst of those painful moments that will show up, we need to daily keep coming back to who we are in the dailyness of life, in each of the 8 dimensions of our lives.
I know, with all the serious issues swirling across the globe at this very second, it’s a bit silly to compare your life and mine, as men, (or the men you know…) to chasing Pokemon figures. However, last evening, I was impressed with the Pokemon chasers commitment to being intentional, focusing on adding up their points, for a whole game that can take up hours, and it was transformative fun across generations.
Dare I suggest (Yup! I do!!) that Leadership Design Group’s Whole-life Mentoring Model significantly brings hope and change to the lives of those men (and women) who will dare to focus on being intentional with the hours and weeks of their lives. Deep change will begin, in time, to honestly, profoundly take place, not just for one part of their lives, but for every dimension of their whole life. Transformation results as new paths are forged into the future of each active life.
There is strong delight in witnessing men becoming all they were designed to be. To see a man, no matter their age, be fully alive in all of who they are is unleashing hope, focus, purpose as each man was originally created to experience life…to the max!
How may we encourage you,
as a man,
to experience that kind of life?
Or some man you may know?