Who can be a mentor? (Not FIRST rules related but a general life question)

From Dictionary.com


*noun *
*1.a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. *
*2.an influential senior sponsor or supporter. *

All my life I have always thought of a mentor as someone who is older, and thus generally wiser than myself. The definitions above allude to the senior aspect of that meaning they would tend to be a party older than yourself.

This definition of an older mentor has been true in my life growing up dealing with family situations, school, and even on the robotics team where the older adults were my mentor to a point teaching me what they know.

Never did I think of the possibility of anyone younger being my mentor.

That is… until this year.

All year I was helping people through some stuff, and I guess playing the mentor role in more than a technical aspect whish I was accustom to in previous years, but on a more personal level.

I would be the one who was there to listen to anything someone (mostly younger people) would throw at me, and then try and help them solve their problems as best as I could.
Stressful at times, yes… but all in all a good thing overall as both parties got something out of the many long conversations.

Then… I ran into some problems of my own in a personal nature this year.

Imagine my surprise when the younger people I was helping, started helping me in the same ways. Listening, offering advice, and performing other mentor-ish deeds.

Traditionally we think of a mentor as someone older and wiser as I said earlier, but have you personally ever had any mentors who have been younger, and wise beyond their years that have truly helped you?

I know I have, and even though I don’t want to thank them all personally here, they know who they are and my thanks go out to them.


I thought about the word, wisdom, when I read your post. If you spend some time exploring that you will see that wisdom doesn’t have an age. Guidance doesn’t have an age. Young children can help us to remember to laugh and to play.

This is a good thread to look at and think about:

One of our team’s alumni from '04 has given me good counsel over the years. Some day we will age to the point that everyone is younger than we are. Do we stop learning, listening, appreciating, growing because we are the eldest? I hope not.

And, within the forests dwell trees of all ages, each adding their growth, shade, and shelter to the life of the forest. Mentoring at its best, can be like that.

I say pretty much if you have more experience than someone, you could potentially be his mentor. I’m leaving out important aspects such as leadership. But all that aside, a person younger than me could potentially be my mentor.

I believe that anyone can be a mentor no matter what thier age is. Everyone is someone and they deserved to be listened to. A mind is a gracious thing it can always be expanded. If someone makes a good point I observe it in my own way whether it helps or not at least they tried and you can’t ask for much more. I hope that everyone is willing to be a mentor because it could help you one day when you least expect it.:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I have never thought that age part to be important. The fact that they are helping you learn something by teaching you something makes them a mentor. If someone younger than me was to teach me how to fix a car and work in an autobody shop, i would still consider them a menotr even though they are younger.