Advice for Mentees and Mentors
Okay, take a deep breath, because I’m going to ask you a question and I want you to reflect on it and answer it honestly. Are you ready? Okay, here goes. Do you openly, willingly and humbly share your knowledge with others?
I know most people will instinctively and quickly say yes, but I encourage you to dig deeper. Do you really share your insights with humility, with the idea that you could in fact learn something from the very people you are enlightening? And what about sharing with kindness? Do you share out of the deeper sense of community that drives our society, with the need to give back to people in need because you yourself have been helped at your own times of need?
I read a blog post by a photographer named Amylu, and what surprised me is that she was calling for open mentoring in her field among professionals and amateurs alike. She offers up her expertise to anyone who wants to inquire, and she does it with grace and humility. She talks about how cutthroat her industry can be and says that she wants to be “a positive wind blowing in the photography community.” Go, Amylu! The world needs more people like you who will give of themselves and not withhold knowledge for fear of losing their status as the top dog.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own needs and our own wants, and to ignore the people around us who may be floundering and who could use a helping hand. But our society can’t function like that, especially as we erase any time-distance barriers and become a truly global society.
Now ask yourself again: Do you openly, willingly and humbly share your knowledge with others? I hope the answer is a resounding yes. We need you to.