The other half of finding people who will walk with you is finding someone whom you will care about and walk alongside. If you wish to be mentored, coached, or directed you will do well to fulfill this function in someone else’s life. Sonia Sotomayor, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States explains why each of us can be the vital link in the development of a young person.
When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become–whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm–her goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, ‘Yes, someone like me can do this.1
A full life does not consist in only absorbing from others; but rather a free exchange of influence and service between people. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).