A number of years ago, one of our President’s made it part of their platform to promote the idea of Mentorship. a quick internet search on “Presidential Platforms Mentoring” should have yielded what I was looking for. But it did not. Which means there was probably something good about the program and they did not want anyone finding out that someone Google did not like (ie someone names Bush) had brought it to the forefront of our consciousness. So much for mind control I found it anyways. It was part of W. Bush’s 2004 platform.
I remember it pretty well because at the time, i was a member of a service organization and we received an official looking document from the Government outlining all sorts of ways that we could sponsor “mentorship” within our communities. And no matter how creepy it was that The Gov was trying to structure how our charity work was done, they did have some very good ideas.
Mentorship was a way that they were trying to right the wrongs done by the break up of the family unit by divorce etc, the decline in religious attendance throughout the country, and a Hands-Off approach in the school system towards teaching morality.
Big Families, Big Opportunity
I grew up in a decent sized family. There were 4 of us kids – for me one older brother and two younger sisters. On my father’s side, the families were larger – with 5, 7 and 4 kids to each of them. We were for the most part the youngest of them. The youngest of my cousins was 3 months younger than me. All the rest were older than I was.
But that was nothing compared to some of the families on my street growing up. We had Mormon Families – one with a dozen kids total. I believe that on the street I grew up on, there were about 58 kids within about 5 years of my age. If you counted the kids a block away, either way, that number increased to at least 100.
It takes a village . . .
In addition to little league and the local Y, the library, we had a couple cub scout troups and church groups that kids were involved in. Kids on our block would also get together for games of Hide and Seek or street football. Being California, we could do it pretty much year round because the weather was right. But we had each other. It was America.
We ask now what education is all about. And if we cede the responsibility to our Government schools, to TV, to You Tube to effectively mold our children . . . we will all be in trouble.
Back to Mentoring and what we can and should do
What we, as individuals can and should do is to take an interest in the children in our lives. We all can take an active role in molding and teaching our children about what it means to be a person, in a community, in society. No one learns this kind of stuff from a book. We learn it from interacting with one another.
Life is short. We need to focus on those we love. Thus the idea of doing something with our younger brothers and sisters. As a faher of 9 children, it warms my heart to see the kids playing together. Especially when the older kids are playing with and teaching the younger kids. It is usually games – even video games when they are played together. This year, we intentionally bought games as gifts and played them over the holidays.
So advice for the day or the week is to plan to make time for the children in our lives. Help make them into good human beings. Teach them love and togetherness. Teach them anything you can. But spend time with them.