We are pleased to introduce our board chair, Marci Silva. Marci has mentored with us since 2016 and has brought with her a background in interpersonal relations and community building. Along with her other duties, she will be writing our monthly newsletter. We’re grateful that she has offered to share her mentoring thoughts and life experiences with our readers. Welcome, Marci, and thank you for this month's story. – The MN
The last couple of days I have heard, or been a part of, many conversations that include current events. Gone are the days that everyone is simply talking about the weather! People are talking about serious issues, Russia and Ukraine, Covid, the state of the economy, and the list goes on. I have heard the stress in voices, seen it in expressions, and felt it all around me.
Last night, when I heard that Russia brutally attacked the people of the Ukraine, my anxiety level rose. I was so saddened. I thought about what those in Ukraine were experiencing: fear, anxiety, the unknown? Ever the optimist I hoped that somehow things would improve over the next 24 hours, that obviously wasn’t the case. I still will hope, but also accept the reality of the situation.
As I contemplated, I thought about how grateful I am to be surrounded by people that love and care, people I can safely share my fears and concerns with. No matter the topic I know I am blessed with a group of friends and acquaintances that will listen to me, my thoughts, and opinions. We do not always agree, but we always have a mutual respect for one another. We will always show up, we will always stand up, we will always support each other. My mind turned to just how meaningful that is…having someone that listens, shows up, stands up, and cares!
As I laid awake, my mind swirling with thoughts, I thought of our mentees. Some of them experience really tough things at young ages. If you think about a child, their concerns equate to current events --it is what they are familiar with--their current worries are the worries of the world, it is what they know. Their reality is often scary; they experience fear, anxiety, and the unknown every day. I considered the fact that their mentor may be the only one that shows up for them, listens to them, and lets them know just how cared about they are! Their mentor may be the only person to encourage them, celebrate with them, and help them learn the life skills that will help them choose the right path as they journey through life.
That is powerful.
The power of just being there is often underestimated. By changing a life, we can help change the trajectory of the world. As our volunteers, supporters, and friends you recognize the critical role a mentor plays by just showing up and listening.
A mentor is just what we all need during any unprecedented time….a safe friend that is there, listens, stands up, cares and supports!
Marci Silva Board Chair The Mentoring Network Inc. www.MentoringNetworkID.org One hour, once a week, transforms lives