In Part I of this article I emphatically defended the vast demand within our country for “male mentors.” If our culture continues down its current path, “male mentors” will continue to decline from an endangered species to an extinct species. If we lose any more ground in the area of adult males who are willing to make a significant contribution of time and energy to helping boys grow up to meet their full potential in this life, then we will witness the vestiges of what is good and right within our male population crumble right before our eyes. Male mentors are essential to preserving our young boys and men from the current condition of internal anger/rage, attitude of entitlement, poor self image, lack of sexual identity, and shameful treatment of the opposite sex.
If these “male mentors” are such important icons in the raising of credible, outstanding young men; then what does one look like? What qualities/attributes do these fathers, grandfathers, coaches, teachers, and neighbors need to possess in order to make a lifetime impact upon the younger generation? I have listed a few of them below.
- A “male mentor” needs to have a passion to help people without a feeling that they need to be perfect. No one is perfect because every person has flaws in their life, but they can take all that makes them who they are and make an impact upon a life that otherwise would have no hope of living a productive life.
- A “male mentor” must have what we call in counseling, “unconditional regard” for the young man he is mentoring. It is being able to accept this person unconditionally, no strings attached, accepting strengths and weaknesses, and embracing the “whole package” within this young man.
- A “male mentor” will have a proper respect toward human life. Life has become too cheap in our society. For some men within our male population, to shoot someone and watch the life slowly drain from the wounded body is not any different from picking a flower, laying it on a sidewalk, watching it wilt, dry up, and shrivel into just another pile of minerals. Human life is a special gift, and once it is taken, it cannot be given back.
- A “male mentor” must have a good heart with the ability of being able to help a young man understand that life is about giving and not just about taking. A good heart is an invaluable cornerstone of humanity. If men will learn to give from the right motivation, then what is given will encourage and support instead of manipulate or dominate others. Along these same lines, comes the demonstration within a mentor’s life that he knows how to properly love other people. Boys need to witness how men can appropriately handle strong emotions and express them in a positive way toward other men and women.
- A “male mentor” is trustworthy. He keeps his commitments and “his word becomes his bond.” He always carries through with obligations and demonstrates his dependability.
- A “male mentor” is honest and lives by truth. He understands that a life not based on truth only leads to chaos, confusion, deception, and frustration. Boys and young men need the example of seeing a man living the truth and being able to speak it with love and respect without compromise.
- The topic for the third and final part of this article is what a “male mentor” does.