I have a mentor who is 75 plus years “young.” However, you would never be able to tell her age. “Bea” takes excellent care of herself and shows no signs of slowing down. She is a lifelong learner who willingly shares words of wisdom with others. I have been the benefactor of those words during our relationship that has spanned more than 15 years. We are so similar in our positions on health and wellness, that someone referred to me as “Mini Bea.” What a compliment!
Recently, “Bea” was publicly recognized for decades of contributions to the organization of which we both are members. The leader making the remarks referred to her as a “stone” within the organization. Longevity, strength and consistency in standing firm combine to position “Bea” as a pillar of truth. As a result of these and other characteristics, she has positively impacted the lives of countless people in the organization and in the community.
I was so excited when “Bea” was acknowledged. It later dawned on me that if I am “Mini Bea,” being her mentee would make me a “pebble.” I couldn’t wait to share this revelation with her. Her response? “Only you Nicolle would think of it like that, but I guess you’re right.” Although I enjoy being clever with words, my thoughts shifted to something a little more serious as the day progressed.
With all that “Bea” has poured into me, being her “pebble” means having extremely big shoes to fill. I started to ask myself questions. “Am I doing the right things in my personal and professional life?” “Am I moving in the right direction to make a difference in the lives of others?” “Can I really accept this mantle and fulfill its duties?” I had to stop with the questions as the conversation I was having with myself was becoming overwhelming. Because I can’t do anything about the past, I thought it best to start where I am and move forward.
I decided to be more purposeful and more intentional about my activities, how I spend my time, and even how I take care of myself. With the goals that I have set for 2017, I have to be in the best of health physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. The mental stress, poor food choices that sap my energy, and emotionally draining relationships can no longer be part of the equation. They have to go so that I can carry out my divine assignment. It’s a work in progress and a process. I’m excited about the decisions that I’ve made this year.
However, I can’t be just a mentee/peeble. I have to simultaneously be a mentor/stone for someone else. We need to position ourselves under the elders and over the young adults. The terms “stones and pebbles” also make me think about the concepts of “give and take.” As “stones” we give and as “pebbles” we take. To manage both roles effectively, balance is required. There are expectations of me as a mentee and as a mentor, and I don’t want to let anyone down. I am being trusted to act upon the wisdom received, and then share wisdom with others.
Imagine what can be created when the “stones” and “pebbles” are together and in order. Who are the “stones” in your life? Who are the “pebbles” in your life? In 2017, make the investment and anticipate a huge return. We are always stronger together!