Friday, October 16, 2015

MENTORING: SEEING CHOICES

16 October 2015

I am holding summer tightly as the fresh nights cool and slow the garden and yard. The porch pots trail long, and the roses out front burgeon in showy splendor. 

It hasn’t frozen yet, though leaves are turning and the Virginia Creeper over the fence is brilliant red.

This week has been busy: homework to hand in, produce to pick and preserve, appointments to endure, and meetings to manage. Autumn’s nostalgic cues trigger longings I don’t even begin to understand—yet they seem innate to my being and the season. I was born in October. 

Our background and environment (in the past as well as every day) clearly influence our life roles, our motives and decisions, and the way we interact with the world and people around us; even our aspirations and hopes. 

If I am a gardener I hope the frost holds off until the tomatoes are harvested, and, can I get just one more cucumber? 

I know the seasonal nuances that announce change, having learned them from my parents who learned them from their parents. They depended on the garden for food. Even if I never garden I still know the softness of the air preceding a snow. 

I have walked and worked with many knowing mentors. Precept and example taught what they valued; I heard their words and saw their choices.  

So it is with our families, our marriages, and our most cherished interpersonal relationships. The past, for generations, contributes culture and expectations. 

Some expectations are like Fall. We can’t even explain them—they are instinctively part of our intrinsic outlooks and attitudes. 

Are the attitudes good or bad? 

Usually neither, but agency and choices may turn them either way—to our benefit and joy or to our detriment, and that of the future.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ provides patterns of identity as sons and daughters of divine beings; a father and a mother with purpose and a plan for joy. 

Scriptures and living prophets outline ideals. 

And each of us finds our own way to arrive as near or far from those ideals as we wish. 

Increasing clamor to conform to more secular standards tests our sincerity. 

Will the next generation know their divine birthright?

Can we model and mentor? 

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