Did you ever stop to think about how many people have really influenced you in your life? You know, the ones that were able to teach you something, show you some new way of looking at a problem or a project – the ones in your life that truly gave you something you could build on. Those people that give back from their experiences and their lessons in life so that the next generation can see a better way, or even just a different way, to do something. The true leaders in your life, even though maybe they didn’t seem that way to you at the time.
Here are ProjectART UBU – we call those kinds of people mentors. And we think they are rare and truly valuable in this life.
Mentors can be parents or teachers, friends or even enemies really. They can walk right beside us without being recognized until they are gone. They can be with us for just a moment in time and leave a lasting impression. Mentors give advice or they can sometimes be devil’s advocates – there to teach, show, or simply listen.
Being a mentor is a deeply rewarding responsibility because essentially, you are shaping the society of tomorrow. On the other side, having a mentor can be that one pivotal thing in your life that pulls you into an entirely new and truly wonderful direction – the direction perhaps you were always meant to go.
If you look at today’s society, some mentors can be easily spotted. Take for example the person who is quoted in this article. Oprah Winfrey is a household name known around the world and she holds a lot of influence over millions if not billions of people. She uses her abilities of communication and relation with her talents for empathy to truly dig at the heart of certain matters – trying to tell stories that we can all relate to and often learn from.
Not every mentor, however, is so easy to spot. Sometimes they can be that grade school teacher that took just a little extra time with one particular student, building up their confidence and giving them a way to learn that might not otherwise be available to them. Sometimes they can be a grandparent that has to take up the responsibility of parenting a grandchild – teaching from their experiences in life so that the next generation of their own family can grow and learn and become truly themselves. A mentor can even be an artist who paints on canvases made from cardboard boxes, creating in their little made up studio and selling their artwork on a street corner just to make ends meet – giving a little of themselves and their minds as a light for those that have no idea just how lost they really are.
Mentors can truly be anyone, anywhere, at any time, and yet so many of us either don’t recognize or don’t have the opportunities to connect with people like this in our lives. ProjectART UBU wants to fix that – we are aiming to bring people like that together, in a connection that will last a lifetime. Teacher and student, artist and art appreciator, leader, orator, dreamer. We want a community where ideas can be shared and experiences used to create new pathways for those coming up behind us. We want to bring mentors back to the founding role they should be so that all of us can benefit from lessons learned and experiences lived, allowing ourselves and those around us to grow, change, and become so much more.
We all have a responsibility in life to leave a little something behind, and ProjectART UBU truly believes that our mentors can do exactly that, for all of us. We are dedicated to providing as many avenues for connection between mentor and the mentored and laying down a foundation for continued success for those individuals. We want to offer space, time, and when needed – funds – so that everyone will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and talents and receive those same gifts back too.
Remember, never stop learning – to learn is to live, and to live … is to find existence and purpose, sometimes in the smallest of things.