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Virtual and Real Mentoring

real mentor, virtual mentor, achieving, learn, life questions, life path, self-discovery

Finding a person you can call a mentor is one of those miraculous events people should be grateful for. Not everyone has the fortune of meeting one of these people they respect and admire enough to want to become like them.

I believe I am one of the lucky ones. Along my life path there have been enlightened people who always kept a burning torch for me. They still are the guides in my journey of self-discovery.

In the beginning there were the virtual mentors, people I have only met due to their books: Mircea Eliade- the religions' historian and then it was Carl Gustav Jung- the psychologist. I’ve met them both in the library, they were waiting for me to discover their ways. Even today I can remember those significant encounters, that took place before and during high-school years.

From Eliade I’ve learned how to avoid second-hand realities and to trust my own critical thinking when it comes to life questions. He was an example of keeping intellectual freedom in front of socially accepted thoughts and worn-out concepts. I sometimes refer to him in my writing activity, when I try to discover the well-disguised modern myths.

Jung’s book of memoirs, on the other hand, gave me the profound belief that I should be a psychologist (and so I went to study Psychology). His rebellious thinking in the field of traditional psychology showed that there still was soul in a science that was ready to throw it to the trash bin of rationalism. I still try to find out how much of the human soul can be explained by what this science has achieved.

Words are too pale to describe my enthusiasm when I learned that these two people I admired have actually met each other during their lifetimes, they have even participated to conferences together and shared common beliefs, even if from different angles. For me this was not just a coincidence, but a fuel that kept my belief alive.

Later, in my college years, I met another two people, this time mentors. They were modest people not looking for appraisals, but real mentors who never knew their roles in my life.

Talking about my teacher of fashion design, I can’t stop thinking that he thought me more about being a human than about dressing up. I owe him the belief in miracles, a concept he promotes daily. He made me see more than clothes when looking to a person, by leading me with an incredible subtlety on the roads of social psychology. Encouraging me constantly, he helped me overcome my limits. We worked together in his arts workshop and then, when I've chosen the path of writing, he became one of my main supporters.

My other mentor is a vast intellectual personality, but I always called him, in my thoughts, “the teacher”. His classes of social psychology were actually pretexts for me to understand more about how the individual shapes himself in the presence of the significant Other, who mirrors him/her constantly. This teacher is the one who made me understand that is more important to question yourself about things than trying to accumulate answers, especially when they come from other people.

Even when I thought I had lost the right life path, they were nearby, encouraging me to learn more and insist on self-discovery.

The most important lesson from all my mentors is that our existence has inevitable consequences upon the others. This is why I try to have a meaningful living and learn to make careful gestures: you can never know who can benefit from any of them, now or in the future.
Published: 2008-02-06
Author: Raluca Ionescu

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