Pacific Magazine - Volume 16, Number 2
Bridging work and the Word
Reach out to others and you may find—and become—a mentor
TO THE CLASS OF 2003,
You may not know it yet, but college was a piece of cake.
Oh sure, classes were challenging. Studying wasn’t always a good time and finals weren’t fun. Your roommate did get on your nerves and not every faculty was your favorite. As for the food—well, no matter how well prepared or plentiful it was, can anyone really be expected to stay excited about eating three meals a day every day in the same place?
Still, in college if you had a problem or question there were people you could turn to. The buzzword is “mentor,” but their job title might be teacher, counselor, friend or work supervisor. Their qualification was that they were someone you trusted. Usually they had already been where you were then and could tell you what to do—or at least what not to do—based on their experiences, insights and observations. The best ones could give you a pat on the back, a shoulder to cry on or a kick in the pants, and had a knack for knowing which was needed when.
It won’t be easy to find those mentors after you turn in your cap and gown for a dress suit or skirt and your diploma for a spot on, and probably near the bottom of, an organizational chart. No longer will it be anyone’s job to even pretend to listen to why your work isn’t done, just to let you know you will stay at your desk until it is.
If you have a question that isn’t in the company manual, you will likely have to figure it out yourself. And spiritual development may be strictly on your own time. Perhaps you’ll even find yourself wishing for College Hour.
“Ow!” you might say. “What’s that’s hard surface under my feet?” Sorry, that’s the ground.
There are ways to maintain, even deepen, your spiritual journey through life while walking the corridors of the workplace. Many of these methods require making what is often a great sacrifice at any age: reaching beyond yourself to others.