Mentoring is fulfilling.
I like young people and I like to share what I know. So I am a perpetual volunteer mentor. It is my contribution; I believe it helps me make the world a slightly better place. I feel good about doing this.
Currently, I share with young people what I know about mediation. I do this in several contexts: I speak to undergraduates about my career and participate in the Mentor Program of the UCLA Alumni Scholar’s Club; I allow law students and new mediators to observe my work at the mediation table (with everyone’s prior approval of course); I write about mediation and share what I have written.
Not only do I believe this makes me a better person, but I think I perform better in my role as mediator as a result. So mentoring helps me beyond the altruism of it.
I have always relished helping young people. For instance, I led the San Fernando Valley Bar Association’s first teen youth group for high school students interested in a law career. Before that, I mentored young people in the program of the Boy Scouts, as a counselor for the Law Merit Badge, and in other roles. I am proud that I have done this, and have even devoted a page of my website to it.
I cannot overstate the good that comes from helping other people. Rotarians (I am not one) call it “service above self.” In the Jewish tradition (I am Jewish) it is a part of “tikkun olam” (repairing the world). For me, it is simply a part of my everyday life. It is also why I mediate. I like to help other people.
If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend becoming a mentor. It is rewarding, satisfying and fulfilling beyond words.