In a recent article on the popular website The Art of Manliness, “The Mentor” was listed as the first of the five types of friends every man needs. The article describes the mentor as “someone you can turn to when the goin’ gets tough,” emphasizing the need for men to have others who are older and wiser in their lives, who can relate to experiences and challenges and provide advice, perspective and constructive criticism.
“The Mentor” is a concept that has strong roots in the Christian tradition: Timothy and Paul, Joshua and Moses, Elisha and Elijah, all examples of strong followers of God sharing their wisdom, their faith and encouraging the whole-hearted pursuit of our Creator. The results of these relationships are noteworthy. Timothy led the church in Ephesus. Joshua led the nation of Israel to incredibly military victories and into the Promise Land. Elisha led Israel as a political intermediary and through demonstrations of the power of Yahweh. These historical figures demonstrate a correlation between active mentor/mentee relationships and successful careers and effective leadership.
This correlation ought provide ample incentive to engage in a relationship with a mentor. It certainly does for me, and I relish the opportunity I have been provided through Horizons Fellows.
Zach Porter, UVa 2014