People who (ahem) have 55 or more years of life experience under their belts have a great deal to offer younger individuals, and vice versa. As mentors, older individuals can share the skills and knowledge they’ve honed over decades, while enjoying the invigorating effects of being around people younger than themselves. Mentees receive gifts such as guidance and support. And there’s something very special about the cross-generational relationships that can result.
While writing a piece the subject for Good Times, I had the good fortune to speak with several retirees who have experienced these benefits first-hand. (It was also fascinating to hear about the fascinating lives they led before retirement.) I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that every one of them seemed to be vital, engaged, and optimistic. I’m sure you’ll enjoy ‘meeting’ them in ‘Mentoring the Young‘.
Practically every time I write an article, I discover the seeds of another dozen stories, which I’m often unable to pursue. In this case, I wish I could have written a good deal more about the work being done by PRIME Mentors of Canada. In addition to the one-on-one mentoring that’s mentioned in the story, they offer a scholarship, and organize two youth conferences — one on leadership and creativity; the other on community-building projects. Their work has also created a ripple-effect of generosity: alumni of the mentorship program, PRIME protegées, assist with the conferences. At the time of the interviews, the PRIME Mentor leadership was also thinking of launching a virtual program in which alumni could serve as e-mentors to high school students needing career guidance and advice on applying for university admissions and scholarships. Witnessing this kind of generosity makes me feel better about my fellow human beings — I hope it will do the same for you
(This is the second time I’ve posted about this story. The first coincided with its print publication; it’s now been published online.)