I don’t think I’m particularly special or gifted. I do think I’m intelligent, and I always thought I was a little more than average in terms of my attractiveness, but there isn’t anything I have understood in myself to merit the attention of those who have mentored me.
Mentor is a term I use, but the people I attribute it to might not realize they have mentored me.
To me, it’s someone who invests something special into your life that changes the course of it. According to Merriam Webster, a mentor is ‘someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.‘
I have had and do have spiritual mentors, mentors to guide me in child rearing, financial mentors, academic mentors and career mentors.
The mentor who changed the course of who I am and what I do was a man who took me, a document writer and gave me a job that enabled me to form a career path when I was still working. I had zero experience in programming computers, but he helped me to learn and supported me when I took classes and read books to improve my skills, and was flexible when I had children and understanding when I began to have symptoms of my mood disorder.
He also taught me about living life well. He was brilliant at what he did in his job. He set an example in working hard and playing hard. He was active, he was a musician, he traveled, he never stopped learning, and he shared his life with a special woman.
If I sound too effusive, perhaps I am.
He is retiring now at the ripe age of 86. Living life fully is what I think of when I think of him. I also know that retiring professionally is not the end for him. It’s a new beginning.
So, congratulations on your retirement Jack.