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W Bro. Dr. Tejinder Singh Rawal District Chairman, Mentoring District Grand Lodge of Bombay email@example.com
What Is Masonic Mentoring?
Mentoring is a process where an individual can pass on his Masonic knowledge and experience to a less experienced Brother. Mentoring is widely used in the business world as part of a person¶s career development, and what we are trying to do is to map that process in an appropriate form into our Masonic lives. By appropriate we mean tailored to each individual Mentee¶s needs in an agreed and unobtrusive manner, which is within the boundaries of personal growth and Masonic values. Think back to when you first came into Masonry and you will realise that entering Freemasonry can be a daunting and, often, overwhelming time. The very nature of our organisation often leads to men joining us with little, or even no, idea of what is fully expected of them and what they can gain from membership. A Mentor should be there to help during these formative and crucial years. But, I hear you thinking, that is the job of the Proposer or Seconder. At this point I just stress that a Masonic Mentor in no way takes the place of a Proposer or Seconder, but is there to provide support and guidance relating to the spiritual and social integration. Since the term is borrowed from management literature, let us find out what do the terms µMentor¶ and µMentoring¶ mean in management.
According to legend, Mentor is the name of the person to whom Odysseus (a.k.a. Ulysses) entrusted the care of his son, Telemachus, when he set out on those famous wanderings of his that we now call an "odyssey" and which took him, among other places, to the Trojan Wars. Mentor was Odysseus' wise and trusted counsellor as well as tutor to Telemachus. Myth has it that the goddess Athena would assume Mentor's form for the purpose of giving counsel to Odysseus but, for many centuries now, the goddess has been unavailable for comment to confirm or disconfirm this rumour. At any rate, Mentor's name -- with a lower-case "m" -has passed into our language as a shorthand term for wise and trusted counsellor and teacher.
In recent years, especially in the management and human resources literature, mentor, which is a noun, has become a verb as well and -- with or without "ing" as an appendage -- now refers to the patterned behaviours or process whereby one person acts as mentor to another.