When I think of a mentor, I think of Yoda. You know, he’s the shriveled gnome-like creature who tried to teach Luke Skywalker the ways of the Force. More realistically, mentors are often teachers, relatives, or friends who see something teachable in a person and reach out to lead that person on a path of excellence in a specific skill, talent or knowledge.
I wish I could say that there was one such person in my life: that one special person who took me under wing to teach me that one…thing. The fact is that there were many: Those teachers who taught me to read and write and then later to critically think and learn the tools of research. There were those spiritual teachers who taught me to walk in a just and upright way. There are the people who are concerned with my physical and emotional health. Thank God for them. There were those practical teachers who taught me how to use a computer, cook a meal, and take command of an office. Then there are the men and women with whom I drum.
My mentors are not limited to those I know. There are all those teachers and mentors from history’s pages. I never understood why I had to study the Greek philosophers while a college student. Now I do. I love to read biographies. Learning how a notable person navigated life has given me insight in to how I conduct my own. Hundreds of writers, artists, and musicians, both alive and not, have influenced my creative expressions.
For a polymath, one mentor would never have been enough.