Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: Be a real mentor

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Feb 17, 2009
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Be a real mentor

Each generation finds the one that follows it to be spoiled, talentless, and tremendously unmotivated. We all remember our parents and grandparents iconic tales of walking to school barefoot, Depression era heroics, and the pride of the self-made man. It appears natural that every generation finds the next one to be pampered and lazy. The reality is that this is never true. Each generation has its own trials and challenges. Each generation has to face its own unique problems, threats, and moments of truth.

How do you view members of the next generation? With skepticism or with confidence? What are you doing to help them meet their trials? People throw the word mentor about too easily these days. Real mentors do more than just give advice, hint, or moralize. Real mentors lead by their own example. Real mentors show their charges how to live and are their most vocal advocates. Real mentors instill confidence but also admonish any nonconstructive behavior. Real mentors build a solid framework by which young people can succeed. Real mentors nurture character and are compasses for success. Real mentors make time for their charges and give of their talents unselfishly. They provide wise counsel and instill confidence, but they also encourage the young to try the waters on their own. Real mentors are simply training wheels, off soon enough so the bicycle can move and balance on its own.

Do you know a young person that you can nurture? Is there someone at your practice that you can help to succeed? Someone to encourage and counsel? If you are up to the task, undoubtedly, you already know someone that would benefit from your attention. I am constantly amazed at how motivated many of today’s young people are. Amazed at how they view world challenges, at how aware they are of the problems that they are going to have to face, and at how much they want to learn. Are you ready to invest in a young life? Take a chance with some deserving young person you know. You won’t be sorry. What do we ever lose by helping others? The front desk staff, technicians, young veterinarians, and the children of clients all look up to you. Whether you know it or not, you have a huge responsibility to teach, encourage, and mentor.

Many people made time for you and helped you to succeed. Can you do any less? Let your impact on the next generation be positive. Let your investment in the future start with the next eager, bright young face quietly watching you for direction.

See you next week, Kev