Parental Mentors

I love mentoring.  It’s one of my passions.  I’ve been a mentor.  I’ve started mentoring programs.  I wrote my doctoral dissertation on mentoring. Did I mention that I love mentoring?

Seeing someone grow and develop under the willing guidance of another is beautiful.  I’ve often wondered who I would be if I had a mentor growing up.  Many of our young males growing up who have the accessibility of positive, male mentors turn out to be quite successful.  Imagine if every person had a mentor.

With that concept in mind, I told someone that I think there should be a fatherhood mentoring program.  Nation-wide!  Let’s be really real for a moment.  We all know someone who is a messed up father.  I’m not even going to limit it to fathers though.  There are some trifling mothers out there as well. Continue reading Parental Mentors

I Unfriend You

How old is your oldest friendship?  I’m not asking about the connection between you and your mother or even your sibling whom you may consider your best friend.  I’m asking about a true friend.  Some of you may have met one of your friends during infancy through your parents like I did with one of my friends, Keywa.  Now in our 40s, we’ve actually maintained a true, life-long friendship.  There were years during childhood where we lost touch (after she accidentally broke my toe by dropping a weight on it), but we reconnected again in junior high.  Boy do we have stories we could share, but I plead the Fifth on terms that it may incriminate us.  Although we have lived in different states for about 20 years, we still communicate fairly frequently.  We may go months without saying one word, but then we’ll connect and start off on the last conversation we had as if time stood still.  Besties?  It’s more like a sisterhood to me.

While many of you can probably relate to having a friend-like-sibling, some of you can also relate to having a friend that you wouldn’t mind if they fell off the side of the earth and were never heard from again.  Yet, sometimes we hang on to friendships that died a long time ago out of loyalty, pity, or guilt.  Sometimes we simply outgrow people and that’s ok.  You don’t have to have a major un-friending ceremony.  You can simply move on with less frequency in contact.  However, there are some situations where you may feel the need for the ceremony like that little, elderly lady on that Geico commercial where she tells her friends to like the pictures on her actual wall in her living room and then tells one of the ladies that she unfriends her only to be told, “That’s not how any of this works.”

In asking several real friends how they know when it’s time to end a friendship, I received a wealth of responses, many of which were very similar in nature. Continue reading I Unfriend You

Readying the Path for Entrepreneurship

Confession:  Most mornings I want to throw my alarm clock out of the window and return to which ever country I was visiting at the time before I was so rudely awakened.  OK, let me stop.  That was a false confession.  In actuality, I don’t even have an alarm clock.  My alarm is set through my phone and I wouldn’t dare throw that anywhere.  It holds my life.  However, the fact that such a small device has so much power makes me a little envious.  That phone has more control over me that I have over myself.  How so? That thing has my most treasured memories in videos and pics as well as my connections to my loved ones via phone calls, texts, and even emails.  It also holds my appointments, my ideas, my rhymes (yes, I still write hip-hop lyrics on occasion), and my most personal thoughts.  If this tiny device can have so much control over me and my actions, how come I can’t have as much control over myself?

What would control over myself look like?  What would it feel like?  See, I believe control over yourself comes in the form of autonomy. (Doc, don’t start using words that we don’t understand).  Autonomy basically means having the freedom to do what you want.  In that vein, entrepreneurship comes to mind.  I believe that most people aspire to be entrepreneurs; yet, the realization of that aspiration is seldom pursued. We dream these lofty dreams, but end up settling on a job that pays little money with little to no benefits or we get a career that may pay well with plenty perks.  Whatever our employment situations are, we often get stuck right there.  We still wish for those lofty dreams, but complacency settles in and we decide not to go for the unknown due to fear.  Is that fear of failure or fear of success?  Continue reading Readying the Path for Entrepreneurship