Who is Mentor?


Today’s daily prompt asks us -again- if we ever had a mentor and what was the greatest lesson we have learned from him or her?

The  question made me wrinkle my forehead. I do that, when I find something a little bit odd. Odd is the fact, that this daily prompt is just another rerun, but although odd is the question itself. Why? Because we all had mentors throughout our lives, different people in different positions. Do I want to point one out? I really can’t, because they all have been looking out for me, in different ways and in different positions.

Mentor was actually a person, so instead of pointing one “Mentor” out, I decided to tell the story of Mentor himself.

He is a character in Homer’s Odyssey, the story of Odysseus, the King of Ithaca. Odysseus has to leave his home to fight in the Trojan war and entrusts the care of his household to Mentor, his friend, who serves as a teacher and protector of Telemachus, Odysseus son.

Odysseus had bad luck and is condemned to wander vainly for 10 years after the war, trying to return home. In time, Telemachus now grown, ventures in search of his father. Athena, Goddess of war and patroness of the arts and industry, assumes the form of Mentor and accompanies Telemachus on his quest. Father and son reunite.

But Mentor was more than a teacher. Mentor was half-god and half-man, half-male and half-female, believable and yet unreachable. Mentor was the union of both goal and path, wisdom personified. Because of Mentor’s relationship with Telemachus, and the disguised Athena’s encouragement and practical plans for dealing with personal dilemmas, the personal name Mentor has been adopted as a term, meaning someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge.

The word Mentor evolved to mean trusted advisor, friend, teacher and wise person. History offers many examples of helpful mentoring relationships: Socrates and Plato, Haydn and Beethoven, Freud and Jung. Mentoring is a fundamental form of human development where one person invests time, energy and personal know-how in assisting the growth and ability of another person.

History and legend record the deeds of princes and kings, but each of us has a birthright to actualize our potential. Through their deeds and work, mentors help us to move toward that actualization.

Father and sons, mothers and daughters, grandparents and grandchildren, teacher and student, friends and neighbors. Mentors come in many forms and guide us throughout our lives.

one person

Daily prompt – Mentor me  Have you ever had a mentor? What was the greatest lesson you learned from him or her?


5 thoughts on “Who is Mentor?

  1. I love this stuff. I did not know this and I thought I had a pretty broad knowledge of that mythology. I feel enlightened! Thank you. Maybe the demi-god Mentor will drop by and … well … maybe not. I’m retired. Maybe I can redirect him/her to my granddaughter. She could use a little help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First I hated this stuff in school, then I fell in love and they had created a monster :-). You are probably the best mentor you Grandaughter will ever have and one day, when she will be my age, she will talk and write about you as I do about my Grandmother.


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