We all have something to give, something to share, something to trade. From those small, daily rituals, like holding the shop door open for a lady with a pram, to the biggies, such as teaching a group, running a committee, or creating a revolution, each of us has a part to play.
I often find myself in the humbling position of being a mentor to some of the people around me. Without fail, it's a these times of mentorship that I learn the most. I learn mainly because I am entrusted with a special opportunity of giving, something that is a precious and thankful experience. When I am teaching, I feel that it is I who is the lucky one, to see people around me who value my time, my experiences, and my expertise, where together we share a journey. We become a team, tacking the issues, and sharing the highs and lows that go along with every journey.
In this sea of opportunity, knowledge, and chaos, I find myself visiting ships which are heading for many different ports. Ships of fellow-artists, destined for greatness, cruise liners full of well-wishers and happy-go-lucky folk, boats of melancholic travellers, and random seafaring sailors, looking out for adventure and new-lands.
Being able to share is a gift. Whether you are sharing your art, or sharing your knowledge, exchanging is what community is all about. In our busy, global lifestyles, many miss that sense of a close-knit community, one where people trade skills, look after each other when the chips are down, gather to address issues, and have a sense of togetherness. But humans have togetherness regardless of how much our lifestyles have changed, and whether you find that in the local village or through a small group of likeminded souls, we all have a chance to mentor each other through our paths in our lives, in our art, and in our greater sense of the world as we know it.
Being a mentor isn't just for the teachers. It's for each one of us. From the small children who watch us with wonder, to the close friends who seeks our counsel. Always remember that ships are constantly sailing on this ocean of life, and that your perspective is just as important as anyone's.
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