This I Believe

Iolanda - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on January 2, 2008
Age Group: 65+

What would you do if you have absolutely NOBODY to talk to? It happened to Victor Navorski – the actor Tom Hanks portrays in a movie called THE TERMINAL. Victor Navorski had just arrived at Kennedy International Airport. He did not know English. A figure in authority says “You must hand over your passport.” He does. Pretty soon he learns that no flights back to your country are scheduled. He cannot go home. Without a passport, he cannot enter America.

Stranded, he may be. Victor Navorski overcame every obstacle put in his path. There were plenty! No matter what hurdle faced him, Victor’s natural intelligence found a solution.

You found out why when Tom Hanks revealed Victor’s absolute love for his dead father. The screen lit up when Victor opened peanuts. Now it held his father’s dream, almost fulfilled. He had to get one more item available only in New York City.

You could never imagine depression in Victor’s past! Or lack of any kind. His father, his mentor, had taught him how to survive any circumstance which fate tossed in his path.

Which brings up a recent commercial asking, “Are you looking for a radio program that celebrates creativity?” Tom and Ray Magliozzi host a hilarious, fast-paced program called CAR TALK. They’re looking for above-average people with car trouble. Can you imagine Tom and Ray with their infectious laughter ever becoming depressed? But it’s their callers who interest me.

The caller is the kind of person you might easily think of as a super-mentor. Super-mentor – the superman of all mentors.

For super-mentors, it is not the service of a car but service to humanity – one individual and only one – for years. Mother Teresa said in A SIMPLE PATH (Ballantine Books) “Love starts at home: family first and then your own home town. It is easy to love people who are far away, but it is not always easy to love those who live right next to us. I do not agree with a big way of doing things. Love needs to start with an individual.”

Just supposing, would you please, that this quality individual, this super-mentor, part-time adopts one person only. One person, once a week, say on Friday afternoons. Say that person is a student from second grade to the end of high school graduation, perhaps longer if both agree. This means that the super-mentor commits to weekly discourses about nothing but feelings. Not to discuss reading, writing, arithmetic or any other subject usually covered in school. Just feelings. Everyday feelings.

This super-mentor, one enlightened human being, could encourage a sense of challenge, could inspire a free-spirited person to do what nobody else dared to do. Can you imagine one individual helping another to the glorious realization of a glorious life? I can. I totally believe that you can change one resilient young mind to healthy self-awareness. Lucky the people who have one person who sincerely cares what happens to them!