Passing The Torch: Mentoring The Younger Generation

It seems like the older you get the faster life moves, and if you get busy you can lose track of that time. Sometimes I really have to sit down and tell myself that I’m 26 years old. Most of the times, I honestly feel like I’m not over 25, and that can be from everyone telling me I don’t look older than 22. When we are young we often to look up to others for answers, which usually a role model, or a mentor. A mentor can be someone you know or don’t know personally. The question is: How do you react when you become that certain role model to someone?

For those that don’t know, I work full time in a lab helping Dr. Bennett and sometimes helping other Dr’s with their current research at the uni. A job that I landed around August of last year. At the same time, I’m attending grad school. Between working with individuals with a higher education level and grad school studies I’m just trying to absorb everything I can from them. Recently, I’ve been assigned two undergrads to follow me as part of their internship. The realization hit me pretty quick. I didn’t get a say so about these two, but now I’m the source they’re looking to sponge information from about their careers. Dr. Bennett ask me how it was going, and for the most part it’s been pretty smooth. I never been in a mentor position in a field that means everything to me. Then there’s my little sub section in my Army National Guard unit. Recently, I received a positive counseling statement for going “beyond” my duties to help new soldiers in the unit. It’s something I take pride in knowing that I can help others with my experience. For others out there you may have to obtain this role much earlier than I had too. You may come from a household that required you to grow up quickly because of certain circumstances.

Whatever the situation, it’s natural for us to slide into the roles whether it’s welcomed or not. We should all strive to be a positive influence to somebody. You may hear athletes or someone say being a role model isn’t in their job description and that’s true, but you hold the power to change someone outlook on life. A small speech here, or attendance there can change someone you interact with for the better. A small amount of your time can make a difference. It may just even mold you to being a better person. The most precious resource is another living being. They have the capacity to become our future doctors, lawyers, etc. No matter what background they come form.

As a researcher, it’s reality that we may never see the fruition of our current research. It’s a selfless community. I will most likely won’t be alive to reap the benefits of a world where we can grow any organ, transradial prosthesis that functions like a real limb, treatments that allow the disabled to be able again, and the science to boost the human lifespan to 100+ years. Like the older guys here, I will do what I can and mentor the young, and pass the torch for them to continue when I’m not able too. As people, we should carry the same selfless attitude. Help others find their way. One day they might be that doctor, and may surpass you in terms of financial wealth, but to me you will receive something more valuable than money. You helped someone that is now taking care of a community.

So whether it’s your kids, cousin, coworker, community, or a nation just know that someone is watching you. They may not tell you, but your actions can dictate how they form as a person.

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