Saturday, January 22, 2011

Difference between Right & Wrong - Mentoring

Recently, I read a story that highlighted a unique dimension of mentoring - teaching the difference between right and wrong to the mentees.

There was an ancient school in India which followed Gurukulam pattern of education. Students from all parts of the country had joined the school. One day one of the students was caught stealing. The fellow students who stayed with him, brought him to the Guru (teacher) and told the Guruji "Sir ! This student stole money from his neighbor. He should be expelled from the Gurukulam". Guruji looked at the students and said "Students... you guys know what is right and what is not right. This poor brother does not even know right from wrong - who will teach him that, if I don't. I'm going to keep him here, until he learns that". Tears ran over the face of the brother, who had stolen. He was grateful that the Guru didn't expel him from the school and the Guru decided to continue teaching him.

Similarly, in Toastmasters, the mentors have to focus on mentees who are not doing their project regularly, who aren't attending the meetings often, and who needs more help and assistance. As mentors, we shouldn't just focus on the "Varadarajans", but also on the "Varaaadharaaajans".

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