A couple of nights ago I was helping my son get dressed after he had gotten out of the bath. His skin was still a little wet and or more accurately damp from the bath water. I slipped hi pajama shirt over his head and he proceeded to try and force his damp arms through the sleeves as quickly as possible. As the damp skin came into contact with the dry cotton shirt his arm became stuck. In his 4-year-old wisdom he just pushed harder and when that still didn’t work he shook violently and growled. I was trying to help him but he was not only fighting the shirt but fighting me. I held him still looked him in the eye and told him, “If you would just let me help you this would be so much easier…”

After Jenn and I put Henry to bed I began to process what just had happened. You see I knew what the problem was because I had a different perspective and more wisdom than my son. I could see that if he just slowed down and put his hand through the hole at the end of the sleeve first the rest of his arm would follow easily. I also knew from over 20 years of dressing myself that you can’t force your way into clothes, you’ll hurt yourself or the clothes.

I got two amazing insights from this experience with my son:

The youth and young adult generation would rather struggle and try to force things to happen than to ask for help or seek mentorship. We have such a disrespect for the older generations that we would rather cause ourselves pain and frustration than to seek advice. Why is this? Let’s look at my second insight and I think I shed a little insight to that.

Most of the youth and young adult generation do not or did not have parental mentorship in their lives. With most of us coming from broken homes or homes where both parents worked we did not have a proper parental mentoring relationship as was originally intended.

In the bible we are taught to honor our parents in the 10 commandments and a lot of Proverbs was written from Solomon to his son. Solomon taught his son the wisdom that God had blessed him with when Solomon was a boy.

As children if and when we take mentorship from our parents we learn to seek wisdom from others. If we do not or did not have that mentoring relationship with our parents and instead relied on our wisdom and/or knowledge at a young age we have programmed ourselves not to seek wisdom or mentorship from others. Or if and when we do seek wisdom we do not know where to look or how to find someone wise and we take mentorship from any fool (Proverbs) that opens his or her mouth with an opinion.

My number 1 rule for mentorship is: The mentor you choose should have the same fruit on their tree that you want on yours. This simply means if you want to be successful in business take mentorship from a successful business owner. If you want to grow spiritually take mentorship from someone who very solid spiritually.

Thomas Jefferson tried and failed to create a light bulb thousands of times before he actually created a working prototype. When he was asked how he built the light bulb he didn’t go through the list of failures he just told people how to create the working product. There can be a thousand ways to fail at something but only one way to succeed. When you take or give mentorship don’t focus on the failures but focus on the way to success. If you focus on the failure you will probably just find another way to fail. If focus on what you know to already succeed, you will probably succeed.

A few of my “Do not ever” rules are: Do not, ever take marriage advice from someone who is divorced. Do not, ever take money advice from someone who is broke. Do not, ever take wisdom advice from a fool.

And lastly, how do you know a fool? They give advice like their word is the only truth, they give advice when they are not asked, they give advice when their life is a mess and most importantly they give advice based on bad experiences.

About robbpaul

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