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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mentors: We all need them!!

      I have been really fortunate in having 7 strong mentors in my life, starting at a young age. They have been so valuable in shaping who I am, I wish everyone could have one at every stage of their life. I need another one right now, to help and guide me (although my wife Patty is mentoring me daily in what is truly important in life). Yes, mentors show up in the right time and place to help and guide, and leave some permanent mark on your life, or like my dad, can be there throughout  your life, and the lessons taught are almost by osmosis. My last 3 mentors have died and I am somewhat lost without them. One was a Catholic priest, for I am Catholic, and the other 2 podiatrists, and this is my profession. Of the remaining 4 mentors, 2 are living, but are guiding me little right now, and 2 are now gone. My living mentors of old are my dad, whom I still listen to every word, and Dr James Garrick, orthopedist, whom still runs my office. I could write reams about each one of these people, but that is not my purpose here.

     Mentors keep you on the right track. They normally meet you psychologically where you need to be. But, they must be sought after at times. When you meet a mentor, you normally know it. You want to know what they know. But, do they have time for you? When I was growing up, it was my dad and grandfather, by how they acted, and how they made me feel, that made me want to be like them. My 3rd mentor, Police Sargent William Groswird, was my baseball coach in grammar school, and the father of my best friend. His influence got me jobs even in college, and drove me to pitch baseball at UC Berkeley. I feel deep respect for these gentlemen.


From Left to Right, My dad Charlie, My son Steve, My Daughter-In-Law Clare, and My Mom Dorothy


Dr Merton Root, my friend and mentor, the founder of modern day biomechanics.


     Most parents sadly realize that by the age of 14 their kids look outward for mentors. Their friends have more influence than the parents do in day to day life. Parents are emotionally abandoned for friendships and mentors in the fields they are experientiing with.We parents must allow this to happen, but continue to guide them softly. I have watched my 2 sons find strong mentors that have guided them in their fields of law and public relations which I know nothing about. As a parent, I am forever grateful.

     Mentors exude TRUST. How many people do we actually trust in life completely? Mentors can be younger, same age, but normally older. They can tend impart the wisdom we need at the time we meet them. I have been a mentor to some I know in my medical practice, but it is a relationship that goes deeper than the business of medicine.

     And, you never have to actually meet a Mentor. It could be a political, religious, spiritual figure, whose ideas capture your imagination and you immediately want to be like that person. So you read about them, study them, and put yourself in their shoes for part of your life.

    I ask you, as I did, to take an emotional count of the mentors you have had, and deeply appreciate each of them. See if you can be a Mentor to more, by just being who you are. Volunteer or just be more interested in the younger generation in your field. Reach out a little more, risk your heart at times a little more, humble yourself a little more, call someone that needed your help months or years ago. Be There a little more. It is all it takes.

   


     

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.