On my thoughts on mentorship
5/19/2019 - 3 minute read

by Christian Solorzano

I am thankful. Thankful for my mentors and the people that have believed in me, pushed, and guided me. I am thankful for those who continue to dedicate time to me. No word nor action goes unnoticed and as I stumble my way through life, I make the effort to give back in the same way others give to me.

My early experience with mentorship was long before the word mentor had any meaning to me. Early mentors existed in the form of teachers, family, and friends. In my teens, my mentorship came from my family haha, their council, which I disagreed with for the sake of disagreement. In college, from my professors and curriculum leaders. In my career, mentorship has come from my managers, directors, and colleagues. In life, from my Zen Master, therapist, friends, instructors, mother, and brother.

The mentorship that excites me the most is that which comes from people I’ve never met, will never meet, and who are long gone. Why? Because their words are still yet they shine with life and rich with meaning. It’s up to me to decipher their messages and ideas, and honestly, I find this extremely relaxing. To drive, listening to a song by Leonard Cohen, where he illustrates the following words: there is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in — what does it mean? What was he trying to say? How can I apply this to my life? This academic research is fun to me regardless of its challenge. It’s like cracking a code and finding treasure. ❤️

It’s an absolute privilege to have access to the plethora of information that exists. Books, music, art, architecture, sounds, nature, film, history, the list is endless. If we focus on our relationship and interaction with our environment, we mindfully notice that these relationships ultimately influence our behavior and our doctrine. Marcus Aurelius is my mentor in the same way that my career coach is my mentor. When I think of nature, its origin, the small seed that houses a colossal tree—this too, is our mentor. Everything is speaking all the time. Everything has something to say. Let’s listen.

I’ve been a mentor for a few years now because it excites me and allows me to learn about others and problem-solve. Mentoring is intimate and personal. I enjoy listening to people’s goals, interests, and needs and working together towards a solution. It’s as simple as that. In the process, I learn about myself too. I draw inspiration from the people I interact with—they teach me things. They teach me how to be better, how to listen, how to speak, how to engage. They develop my capacity to feel. 🙏

I believe we are all teachers and we are all students. I encourage everybody to devote time to be of service to others. If we open our hearts to one another, we can lift each other up and make the world a better place.

Time is the water that nourishes the seed that good mentors plant.