The Ethical Edge: Inspiring Leaders of Integrity Series
The Art Of Integrity
WHY NOT MENTOR INTENTIONALLY!
BY MEL TRUDELL
Founder & President, Custom Comfort Mattress
“There are two way of exerting strength:
one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”
– Booker T. Washington
There are very few people in our lives who we consider to be a Mentor or Coach. I am blessed to say that Mark Wilson became a very positive influence in my life.
Growing up with an army of nine siblings and very little resources, I never learned how to verbally communicate or express myself well. I had a learning disability as a child, so I struggled in school. Therefore, I learned from watching my family and from growing up alongside my best friend, Mark Wilson. Mark was four years older than me. He and his parents were longtime family friends with whom I spent a lot of time. Mark was a friend from childhood to the day he passed away due to an illness about three years ago. Now, more than ever, I realize how much Mark was a mentor to me throughout my life.
Today, I look back on what I learned from Mark as well as his father. They taught me how to listen…how to be open with one another…and how to share our true feelings, expressing what is on our mind. Mark taught me so much about just being there for someone and not standing in judgment of another.
It’s funny how people are put into our lives and how, unconsciously, they teach us the littlest of things. It was not until just recently that I understood how deeply Mark influenced my life. I have been so blessed by having great people around me. Mark shared his wisdom by encouraging me to become t equipped with the gift of how to just sit and listen…without judgment…giving that kind spirit of compassion. Mark taught me how to be emotionally present to others in the moment. As we grew into adulthood and started our own families, Mark displayed a positive influence on my two boys by listening and allowing them to talk through their feelings.
As children we absorb much. As we continue to grow we discover there are mentors who come our way from all walks of life. I can honestly say that Mark Wilson and his dad taught me valuable life lessons by listening, encouraging and the best lesson of all…never judging.
I now understand and believe more clearly, just how important it is for each of us to be a positive influence with the next generation by just lending an ear when needed. If we all could be intentional about mentoring the youth around us, what a better society we could have. I say intentional because we DO influence either intentionally or unintentionally. Why not be intentional about it!
Mel Trudell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org