Greetings Dr. Bucher, and a most warm and hearty welcome and so glad you are here. Along with Stephen’s thoughtful opening suggestions you have started this conversation off with many things to consider.
First off this subject reminds me of the Senex/Crone Archetype which has many manifestations; some of which would be the “Mentor/Sage” or wisdom guide; but in more human context might be that of an “Elder figure” who passes on wisdom; but I was also reminded by your suggestion that the: “Wounded Healer”; could be another form it presents itself.
One of the most important set of examples of this archetype growing up was that of the: “Person behind child”; this was someone who represented some kind of relationship to the child that could give them a long range sense of themselves; that could take on obstacles without losing their sense of direction in accomplishing their goals. A relationship that told them: “Don’t give up; don’t quit; you can do this! A kind of: “can do” attitude that gives them a sense of self-worth and belief in themselves that they not only have value as individuals; but they also have something to offer to the world; a boon or perhaps something the world lacks that is their gift. (So when I first encountered Joseph’s work from a crisis I was experiencing this rung me like a bell!)
I was particularly moved by your suggestions that mentors are everyday people and are all around us if we can only have the eyes to recognize them; both as student; but more importantly as potential teachers. Your point about being a mentor; but being unsure if the qualities are there was especially helpful for as you pointed out the need now is so great in modern society that so many of our youth are left without the emotional support they so desperately need to find themselves. It is not just a skill that is taught; but: (that self-knowledge and psychological center that Joseph talks about that their inner hero is to exemplify); it’s an understanding there will be hurdles to overcome and inner dragons to battle and darkness to navigate; but there will always be the memory of their guide(s) that whispers to them; “yes you can”!
I also think these mentor relationship(s) may be either male or female; not just gender related; for how many males have had: mothers, aunts, and grandmothers as mentoring elderhood figures, as well as men; and these bonds that are formed from these deeply personal friendships in our lives have provided meaning, purpose, and insight where those of our own gender could not? But most of all I think if we are lucky we can have the privilege of having more than one mentor to help us; and maybe then by learning from others we too can become that person you suggested: “it’s who you are in someone’s life”; not just: “what you do”.
I so much enjoyed your post and look forward to hearing more of your offerings on this. Namaste
Traci; I have a suggested resource that might be helpful in your quest. Maureen B. Roberts has a wonderful Facebook discussion group called: “Psyche, Myth, and Archetype”. It’s a closed group set up specifically to explore and share meaningful material and experiences concerning these kinds of interests. It’s tremendously supportive for both female and male participants, and covers a huge range of topics focused on mythical and other related material for people to share. It’s got somewhere around 5,000 members so there is a rich ongoing conversation; (that is strictly monitored); so the usual social media behavior is always: warm, cordial, and inviting.
(Your category of interest comes up regularly concerning similar mythically related pursuits. I highly recommend this group because it is one of my favorites and I go there all the time.) Just a thought to consider if you’re interested.