via Daily Prompt: Mentor


In Homer’s epic Odyssey, Mentor was the trusted friend of Odysseus, and, during the Trojan war, Mentor remained in Ithaca to care for Odysseus’ son Telemachus. Mentor’s role was to prepare Telemachus for leadership of the family while Odysseus was away fighting the war.  The goddess of wisdom Athena advised Telemachus anonymously when she assumed the identity of Mentor.

Later, the French author, and archbishop of Cambrai,  Francois Fenelon (1651 – 1715) wrote, “The Adventures of Telemachus”, in which Fenelon establised a connection between mentoring and education. Something we accentuate today in school programs and community groups.

I have had many mentors in my life, and still do, too many to name all of them here. But John, Skip, Wilfrid, Colin, John, Jeff, Thelma, Harry, Brian, Laurence, Derry, Greta, Peter, Ken, Hughie, Penelope, David, Hillary, Roger, Ken, Adrian, are just a few that are probably more significant overall, and deserve particular mention. Some are perhaps anonymous, or indirect, the people I have encountered briefly, or I have read about, or observed in films and some detail or practice has made sense.

We all need a mentor (and plural too) because our significant others, even our primary mentors and guides may be engaged in something far away, and not necessarily geographically far away, but perhaps psychologically, physically or spiritually. Death has taken several of mine, and diverging paths or points of view has taken others, but for a season, they were there for me when I needed someone most. I have found mentors wherever I have been and in many unlikely places. And for me a mentor is not so much a formal educator, but more of a muse, a stimulous, sometimes a radical sometimes other, occasionally gauche, bohemian, or not. For me it is the trusted person who can hold the space for me to speak, to ponder, to rail, to doubt, to envision and dream. We all need those people in our lives. I have been fortunate to know that others have called me mentor, a privilege I never sought in itself, but one that came through friendship and being there.




Filed under history, life, mindfulness, Mythology, Philosophy/Theology

17 responses to “Mentor

  1. Yes, we all need a mentor or two in our lives.. loved this post!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I did not know the backround of the word. Facinating article. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You use and choose them wisely or they just appear when most needed … we need a plethora of mentors! Some are only there for a ‘season’ or a reason …

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nasuko

    I learn something new,Thank you!!:D

    Liked by 2 people

  5. MNL

    I think sometimes too something someone says echos inside of you and rises up later in your memory so that you think about it and learn from it later. Like a timebomb or alarm clock, you realize that someone mentored/taught you when the time came for you to understand. They may not even be in your life any more when it dings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello dear. I have nominated you for the three days quote. Check my blog to see it. Congratulations

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lyn Cannon

    Good to be reminded to reflect on our mentors who have been part of our formation


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: That First One | parallax

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