Have you ever had a mentor? What was the greatest lesson you learned from him or her?
I think I already covered this somehow in one of my daily prompts post. Anyway…
I’ve had a lot of mentors but I’d like to dedicate this post to my dearest mentor of all, my grandfather.
My grandfather was strict and perfectionist yet patient at the same time. I think I learned how to speak English because of him. He always spoke in English that as a young child I got interested to learn that language to be able to communicate with him. He prayed in English. He preached in English. He communicated with most of the people around him in English. At one point, I actually believed that he was American. Oh, how he scolded us in English, too!
DECLAMATION. My dad used to work abroad. My mom used to work in a glove company that most of my childhood years were spent with my grandparents and aunt. They helped me out with school. Not a day went by that my bag wasn’t checked for marked papers or assigned homework. I had to excel. I had to be the best in class. It was tiring! My family expected a 100% grade every single quiz or test. Sigh. Because of their deep interest in my studies, my teachers at elementary school noticed that whenever there was a special program at school or at nearby schools I’d be asked to represent our school. Thus, most of my nights were spent rehearsing for this and that. Of course, I did not rehearse on my own. My dear grandfather helped me out in every single declamation piece I received from school. He patiently helped me how to pronounce words correctly, when to pause, when to inflect words, etc. He was always there for me.
EDITING. My grandfather was also a writer and a translator. People from far and near, came and went to our home to ask him to either write or translate something for them. He was asked many times that I believe there were occasions that his works were published by our local church conference. Because he was so good at language, whenever there was a speech I had to do at school, he’d write it for me. But there were times that he’d ask me to write it and he’d edit it for me. Oh boy! How difficult and boring those editing days for me. I was not that open to suggestions and corrections that every time he corrected me, my little Shiela ego would be bruised. I was so defensive back then. But he remained to be patient in helping me. He’d just sit there and help me understand grammar rules, rules that I didn’t hear or learn from my elementary teachers. So, I learnt the basics of editing from him.
GOD AND THE BIBLE. This is the most important thing that I learned from him. He introduced me to the faith. He was very religious and spiritual. He loved God so much that he talked about him to people he came in contact with daily. He led our family worships. He preached at church. He visited the poor, needy, sick, everyone who needed help. He was at peace with everyone. But, he was not afraid to call sin by its right name. He was never late to correct any wrong thing we did. He told us that it is very important to know the difference between right and wrong and that there is never a gray area. It’s either you’re God’s or…
Whatever I am today, whatever I believe in, whatever principles I uphold, is all because of him. He stood by me and immersed me deeply in the faith knowing that I’d grow up to be a better person. I wanted to become a lawyer but he disagreed. He wanted me to take a career that will help finish the work of the gospel. He wanted me to go out and share God’s love to people which is what I am doing now and have been doing for many years now. I am truly grateful for everything he did for me and my family. When I was needing a father, he stood by me. I will surely pass on all these beautiful things he taught me to my future children and to the people around me.