Joe Doe’s 12th task asks you to be a mentor.
TASK #12: Mentor, Mensch
McCabe’s Law: Nobody HAS anything to do with ANYTHING. Charles McCabe
A MENSCH, dictionary-wise, is person having admirable characteristics, such as fortitude and firmness of purpose. A person of fundamental decency. A MENTOR is described as a sponsor or supporter. I don’t like either of these definitions. Here’s what a mentor and a mensch are in the real world.
A mensch is a stand-up guy. A guy you’d trust with your wife, or your sister. A mensch will bail you out of jail, back you up in a bar fight, commiserate with you when your girlfriend runs off with your tax guy, and a mensch will co-sign a loan, or a lease. Most importantly, a mensch will NOT ask for anything in return.
A mentor is a guy who takes the time to show you how to do something that you want to do, but don’t know how to do it. It’s usually an older guy, but not always.
I had a mensch in my life. His name is Dave. He stood by me and my family. He did something for us that was selfless, and he did it because it had to be done. When I thank him (which I do profusely, and often), he shrugs it off…
I had another mentor in my life as well. A guy who helped my get ahead in my career when I was young and dumb. I went to work in an office that was a real shark tank. I nearly got myself fired on day #1. The reason I survived was due to the patience and selflessness of my boss, who would sit with me late into the evening and gently guide me. It must have been a trial for him–I was so full of crap–but he listened and smiled.
Be a Mensch! Is there someone who needs your help? Someone who needs a loan? Someone you can help get a job? Someone who needs a ride to work? Someone who is reaching out for something and you know you can help but you’ve just ignored it? Help him! Be a mensch!