Are you a mentor-to-be?

Mar 26, 2016

Are you a mentor-to-be?


Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world
Questions #15
Rite of Passage Five – lower case gourmet
(1945 to 1948 –Age 14)


Could you, in the upstream later years, offer yourself to a young person as a mentor? If so, what would motivate you to do so?


I have gained mightily over the years from both men and women who were my senior in both age and wisdom. They were somewhat expert in their respective fields. You have already met André Simon, the President and Founder of the International Wine and Food Society. You will soon meet several more in both wine and food and the media.

My formal education had been disjointed by the war and constantly moving from school to school and had concluded at what we Brits call a “crammers”; a one on one teacher who, in a short space of time, “crams” ones head full of likely examination answers!

I succeeded in graduating by the skin of my teeth and began my culinary training at Brighton Technical College.

I had grown accustomed to ‘catching up’ in my studies and motivated, as always; by my fear of failing, I became a good listener.

Actually I was more of a ‘sponge’ soaking up everything and anything without much discernment. My mentors needed to provide wise counsel on what to accept and what to reject. For the most part I listened!

So…what about now?

Back in 2008 I struck out into a totally unknown ‘field’ and began to grow my own edible plants in a brand new kitchen garden.

Up until that time I had never met a plant I couldn’t kill (other than bamboo and mint). Rapidly a whole team of mentors who were incredibly generous with their time and patience surrounded me.

Seven years later (time I let my soil lie fallow?) I was asked for my ‘short-lived’ advice and actually wrote a book “Growing at the Speed of Life!” about my first year. I’m cautions and try very hard to explain my relative inexperience but, at the same time, I love to see the joy in a new gardener’s face as they devour their very own homegrown vegetables! How about you –are you ‘expert’ at anything you could pass on; it’s never too late.


P.S This week I read Treena’s poem: “Sister in Seattle



  1. Patti Jean Meehan Says: 1:26 am

    I am involved mentoring some young transgender females who are going through tough times. Through my experiences I am helping them find a balance to life and discover a passion like cooking is for me that will help carry them through life.

  2. Jean N Sozio Says: 10:54 am

    “Let the older women teach the younger women in the ways of the Lord – to honor their husbands”. I was a vibrant ambitious multi-tasker for 35 years (work, exercise, hobbies/crafts, church affairs) until I retired on disability 7 years ago. In that time I have become a senior citizen and passionate country home-maker, cook, and gardener. We have no children but I have turned into what Grandmothers were back in my day – homebodies who smile, give hugs and candy, bake great cookies, rock, read, watch TV, and sleep. I have slowed down much still able to drive but not far and barely walk more than 300 ft. to my country home mailbox. I am too young in years for this perhaps but wise in experience. God has given me a fellow church member in my neighborhood 20 years younger than I, married with two grown children. She probably will be a grandmother in the near future. We counsel often together. It is said that you, by example, may be the only “Bible” other people see. We may be mentors consciously or unconsciously. Nice to think so.

  3. Karl Says: 4:36 am

    because without them we all just drift in the waves of our life experiences and go shipwrecked

  4. Karl Says: 4:34 am


    I have spent the last 27 years in the world of culinary education.I can truly say that it was and is the most rewarding endeavor one can undertake.To see young people with dreams and aspirations starting their studies and then being able to influence their personal and career paths is very challenging but also very fulfilling.I have seen so many of these young “Diamonds in the raw” become shining “Gems” of the industry as well as great human beings.Especially now in my older years I have the privilege to reconnect with many of them and it’s a joy to hear their testimony.Sometimes its little things I’ve done for them they remember the most,having the made the biggest impact.Mentoring is a calling,a God given responsibility to all who care about their fellow traveler in this journey called life.We are all in need of some solid anchors in life and the Mentor should strive to be one of these anchors

  5. Lynn Severance Says: 8:19 pm

    I am smiling a bit at Graham’s great question – smiling because some of us are more UPstream in our later years and a “young person” may not be considered “young” in the eyes of the world or even to themselves!

    I was asked to join an online group of women who were gathered in a closed Facebook group to share for six weeks about their needs at a time of transitioning in “mid life”: husbands retired, children gone from home, “who am I now” when my identity has been so centralized in the years of being a wife and mother. As I was old enough to be the mother of those in this group, have never been married (no retired husband; no children), I asked the woman requesting my presence if she really wanted me there. Her reply, “I really want your voice among us.” I say this only as an example of how mentoring can come to us and we need to be discerning as to how God wants to use us even if we may not feel we have much to offer (in experience). What can end up happening is that our experiences may differ but the emotions of what we have gone through in life is the intersection where each person is nurtured.

    Graham’s example was a skill area where mentors who knew how to garden came alongside him to share from their experiences from tilling said soils and as Leslie was saying, “seeds” can be planted in all kinds of circumstances. Those who meet around a particular skill and have time to share of other parts of their lives often are “mentored” beyond that one skill area. Friendships can be born and more depth of life shared.

    Living in openness to be present with another who opens their life to us is the key. Words from our experiences may come tumbling out speaking into a heart and we may find the very same thing happening to us in return. Both are nurtured. Both are mentored.

    “A sower went out to sow a seed” and we each carry seeds of life within us to sow – whatever our age or the age of who we encounter.

  6. Leslie Says: 6:53 am

    Mentoring is probably one of the hardest things in the world to do – if the person is unwilling to listen. BUT, laying down the “seed” just might create germination when one least expects it – when the mentor is not around to experience that delightful event. In other words, don’t expect immediate results – just lay down the seed and God will take care of the rest and know that you have done your best. Thank you Graham for all that you contribute to this world.

  7. Jennifer Maydole Says: 7:27 pm

    Treena’s signed the book for me and my son who has his share of struggles in life being developmentally delayed.
    I loved reading Treena’s book, and the Sisters in Seattle, wow! I passed the book along to a friend whose son I grew up with, struggled with addiction his entire life. Thanks for sharing your real life with us Treena.
    I never thought I would have this opportunity but now mentor/support parents, much younger than me who have children with special needs in K-12 schools. My son is graduating from high school on time with his classmates of 12 years. It’s a miracle.
    Lastly, I ready book 3 then book 1 and am halfway through book 2. Spent the day walking through your lives. Amazing how The Lord pursued you all of those years. I am so glad He did.
    Happy Easter,
    Jennifer (Van Hoy) Maydole

  8. Hope Says: 6:57 pm

    Barbara!!!! I send you a big hug and say “Bless your heart!!” I would, personally, treasure having you mentor my young men. Have faith in the next generation. My husband and I are raising young men who know how to work hard, treat women with respect, embrace delayed gratification as they strive to reach a goal, and set high expectations for themselves. If you look, I’m certain you’ll find parents who are like-minded and would certainly invite you to be a part of shaping the future of their young people. My husband and I deliberately sought out and asked an older couple from church (who never had children of their own) to be a part of our family. They have joined us for birthday and holiday dinners and celebrations, brought back small gifts for the children from their many travels, and given my children advice and encouragement. They have been wonderful surrogate grandparents for my boys.

  9. Lynn Severance Says: 6:56 pm

    Barbara – I came to read Graham’s posting for “this day” and plan to come back after I figure out who I may be “mentoring” and how to express it. However, I “love” your comments and wanted to let you know. You have such a rich essence of experiences that are well worth sharing. I feel your frustration, as well. I attend a church (one of two churches) where I am old enough to be the resident grandma – definitely could be the mother of the pastor who is a former 1st grade student of mine. I am invited to baby showers so I guess I am being mentored to be a great-grandma! I go because I love these young folks, their passion for Jesus, their energy and even when what I offer in conversation may be hard for them to grasp (as it would have been for me when I was 20 years old ), I think our being authentically who we are, wherever we are, is the main focus first. It may not be so much our getting through to “them” but leaving room for them to get through to us so conversation can begin. None of us is going to change a generation but each of us can touch the life of one soul. And equally, one of them can touch our soul – no matter our age. (( Hugs to you ))

  10. Barbara Says: 12:26 pm

    I think I have things to offer the younger folks but I confess, I don’t know how to get through to them..I see the grins on their faces and can read it in their eyes. I am just an old fogey who has funny things to say like “I waked a mile to get the school bus”.; Or the treat my grandmother gave us and I loved it – a slice of bread with molasses poured on it; I didn’t have a car until I had worked a year, teaching, and had enough money saved for the down payment.
    There was a war going on and I knitted many wool squares, to be sewn together making afghans, by others, to send to our troops to help keep them warm, We saved paper for paper drives; foil from gum wrapper, discarded cigarette packages and made balls with it to be redeemed for about $0.08 for a softball sized, at the filling station – again it was for the war effort.

    I grew up on a dairy farm and I didn’t know that a ”vacation” wasn’t just for kids not having to go to school – we never took a vacation as some did. I didn’t know people who vacationed – only the kids.

    I wish i could tell them that and they, to ask questions instead of covering their faces a giggle.

    At shool we stood every morning and saluted the Flag and sang the National Anthem – two verses , the first and 3rd and following them the teacher or student read a few passages from the Bible.

    We sat at desks that were screwed into the floor , as were the seats. No screaching of chairs being shoved by students. We sat and listened and performed the tasks at hand. We lined up to leave the room and stayed in line with no running or pushing. Sure it must have been difficult for a teacher to keep young ok to sit , but we all learned how to do it and none of us have suffered from it. We had to be on time getting to school and when we were old enough to change rooms for classes, we knew we should not run or push and that carried over to adult life. Your boss wants you to be on time and ready to work. Getting to work and then feel you have to comb your hair get a cup of coffee, visit with friends and get to you place where you do your work about 20 minutes later, was unheard of. Today you don’t call a business until about 9:30 because there is no one there to answer the call. Some places have an answering service and they don’t call them to see what calls came for them unlt 10:00. Now they are sying they should delay shool opening an hour later so the kids can get an extra hou to sleep. What wrere the kids doing the night before – sure – staying up ’til the wee hours and , yes, they were tired the next day .

    Education used to be for preparing for life after the school days were over. This is not preparing them for anything.

    I sure wish I could get through to them.

  11. Hope Says: 12:19 pm

    I am a stay-at-home, homeschool Mom of four boys, who loves Jesus passionately. Before having children, I worked in Christian radio writing and producing commercials and programs. I still write and am a public speaker. I sing on our church worship team and my husband is the church pianist. We attend the same church we were married at 28 years ago and live in the same town. So, we are either stable … or boring. You can pick. Ha! Ha! My husband and I are PASSIONATE about teaching others to live debt-free! I also serve on a group, which helps other parents in the area begin homeschooling. I speak on homeschooling, parenting, and relationships.

  12. peter withall Says: 9:08 am

    I am retired, do the odd job. In UK I ,was a hotel manager and a trainer for management trainees. Before that I was executive chef at Rolls Royce. Worked on cruise ships, worked all over the world. trained in Switzerland, France , England . I am a Christian, believe that William Branham was the prophet for this age.Our church has a nice camp near Mount Baker. holds 350 people. we help out there. Great place for our young people. Ideal place for conferences, youth camps, skiing. I met you GK at Semi ah moo one time. God Bless Peter Withall

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