Thank you for your your wise and wonderful words, and also thank you for the questions:
“What was it that they provided that meant the most to you? Did you ever take the time to express your appreciation to them? I believe that appreciation (however ritualistic you can make it) is an important part of the mentorship process and cycle.”
“I wonder who you might identify as mentors in your own journey?” John, your question made me think, and reflect as to whom have I considered as my mentor, you mean real life mentor, one you had the good fortune of spending some time with. I’d have to begin my answer with a question. Could you have held your mentor in the back of your brain, lived and followed their ways, with a very foggy sense of why you do what you do?
If yes, then for me, my mentor is my Uncle who came into our lives when we were in our teens, and whose ways, were so different from my father’s (his brother) and so unimaginably magnetic, that every thing about my Uncle just went deep into my skin. His wise words still ring in my ears, but more than that, were his noble deeds, that I had not seen in any other relative or friend, and those deeds left an indelible impression on my being. A few years later, our families had a parting of ways, and with that my Uncle’s memories faded. That’s what I thought, but did they really? No, I find most of my actions, in life have been so similar to my Uncle’s. His name was Atthur, (Arabic version of Arthur).
Campbell writes, “doom breaks loose from the shell of our very virtues”. That would describe my Uncle’s last days, and as I reflect back, I find that unconsciously, I have followed in his footsteps, calling it my own journey. Much more to write and reflect on this topic.
“Did you ever take the time to express your appreciation to them? Unfortunately No, not then and not for many years, but about fourteen years ago, I visited Hyderabad India, and visited his grave, and expressed my gratitude.
“I believe that appreciation (however ritualistic you can make it) is an important part of the mentorship process and cycle.” While in India, my cousin gave me a tin box that belonged to him, and I do have a ritual. Every Friday, I place a candle on the tin box, and thank him for his love and his gentle ways that have guided me in my life.