Every Man Needs a Man Mentor

by Brett & Kate McKay on February 15, 2009 · 56 comments

in A Man's Life, On Manhood

manmentor

When I was 15, I met a man who would have a profound impact on my life. His name was Andrew Lester. I first encountered Mr. Lester at church. He was the fun old guy that everyone liked being around. Despite being in his 8os, he had this boyish, mischievous look to him. He also made wearing a Breath-right nasal strip look cool. He wore them all the time. Mr. Lester was an artist by trade. His mother was a Cheyenne Indian, so his art focused on Native American motifs. A tribe called him the White Buffalo, and he made a really beautiful painting representing the name bestowed on him. I have print of it hanging up in my office.

While Mr. Lester dabbled in painting, his real skill was in sculpting clay. He sculpted mammoth busts of great people from history like Martin Luther King Jr., Jim Thorpe, and Western movie star Tom Mixx. When he wasn’t working in his studio, he volunteered in various community organizations aimed at helping underprivileged Native and African Americans. Mr. Lester was very active in the African-American community in Oklahoma and founded the Oklahoma African-American Museum Hall of Fame.

When I first saw Mr. Lester at church, I never thought he would become a mentor and good friend to me. But by chance, I was asked to regularly visit him and his wife to help them out around their home. Little did I know the impact this man would have on my passage into manhood.

A few weekends a month throughout high school, I would drive up to Mr. Lester’s home in Guthrie to visit him. Our visits usually began with me doing some chore around the house or in his art studio. This often involved me pulling some weeds or moving the big clay busts around in his studio. He sometimes had me actually work on his busts. I remember doing some fine tuning to Tom Mixx’s hat and nose with a chisel and some sandpaper.

lester11

After I finished my task, Mr. Lester and I would go to his living room or studio just to talk. He’d share with me stories from his life. I learned how as a teenager in the 1920′s, Mr. Lester hitchhiked all the way from Cheyenne, OK to San Antonio, TX just to see if the Alamo would display a bust of Davy Crockett that he had sculpted. They agreed. The sculpture is still there today.

He shared with me his experience as an art teacher for troubled students in inner city Los Angeles during the 1960s. This was an intense time to be a white guy living in that part of LA. Racial tensions were high and boiled over in 1965 during the Watts Riot. But despite being a white guy from Oklahoma, Mr. Lester was able to make fast friends with the students in his class. And he quickly became involved with helping the African-American community in the city.

With each story, Mr. Lester would always impart a life lesson. He’d used the story about his trip to San Antonio to teach me about doing whatever it takes to accomplish a goal in life. His experience in Los Angeles conveyed to me the importance of tolerance, respect, and compassion for people who are different from you and that a real man will stand up for the oppressed and downtrodden.

Mr. Lester would always ask me about what was going on in my life. He’d listen intently and provide some counsel and words of encouragement or sometimes a verbal kick in the butt if I needed it. After each visit with him, I felt uplifted and edified.

But my friend and mentor became sick. He was diagnosed with cancer. Our visits became shorter. It was hard to see this man who was once filled with mischief and vitality become weak from the chemo. But Mr. Lester still shared stories and lessons, and he still gave me advice and counsel.

Mr. Lester died during my senior year of high school. I remember driving up to Cheyenne, OK, to see Mr. Lester return to his birthplace. His final resting ground was appropriate; Cheyenne’s wide open skies and desert landscape provided enough room for a spirit as big as Mr. Lester’s to roam.

lester

Andrew Lester Working on a Bust

It’s been almost ten years since Andrew Lester died, but I can still vividly remember the conversations we had and the lessons he presented to me. From Mr. Lester, I learned the importance of being an honorable man. I learned that success in life requires tenacity and enthusiasm. I learned that the strong should look out for the weak. And I learned the value of respect towards all men, no matter their race, creed, or social background.

Why Men Need Man Mentors

There are some lessons and bits of wisdom that only a man can impart to another man. Men and women are different. We view and interact with the world differently. So it makes sense for men to seek out other men for guidance on how to navigate life.

Unfortunately, it seems like a generation of men went without mentors growing up. We hear on the news about absent fathers and the effect it is having on young men today. Even when a man has a father he can look up to, it takes a village of man mentors to raise a child. Yet men find themselves more and more isolated, without the community ties and relationships that helped previous generations learn the art of manliness. Without good examples of men to emulate, young men often get a bit lost. Studies have shown that the lack of a male figure in a boy’s life increases the likelihood that the lad will perform poorly in school or get involved in crime. And beyond the obvious consequences like crime and education, this void can affect a man in a myriad of subtle ways.

In addition to providing some guidance in navigating through life as a man, mentors can expand one’s view of what it means to be a man. Every man has had different life experiences and been exposed to different philosophies and worldviews. They’ve been brought to their knees by different trials, been carried away in different joys, and have learned unique bits of wisdom. They can help you see things a different way, inspire you to dare greatly, comfort you when you grieve, and help you become a better man.

4 Man Mentors Every Man Should Seek

The Older Friend Mentor

I will always cherish my friendship with Andrew Lester. He was able to pass down his eight decades of wisdom to a young man still trying to find his way in the world. Whether you’re 15 years old or 40, every man ought to have an older friend. Think about how you viewed your life and the world just 5 years ago compared to how you see things now. Now imagine having several more decades of life experience added to that. An older friend has a lifetime of knowledge to pass to you. And most older guys love to share those lessons with others. To find an older man mentor, strike up a conversation with an older man at church, join a fraternal lodge, or start volunteering at a senior center. An older man mentor doesn’t have to be elderly either. If you’re 20, having say, a 40 year old man friend can be quite enriching.

The Professional Mentor

Learning the ropes of a new job can be pretty nerve-racking. Even when you’ve been on a job for awhile, it can be difficult to understand office politics or how to move-up in your position. This is why finding a professional mentor is so essential. Seek out a guy at work who has been there awhile and who is in a position you eventually want to attain. A professional mentor can give you honest feedback about how you’re doing, warn you about what not to do, introduce you to valuable connections, give you advice about how to get promoted, and put in a good word for you to the higher-ups. Perhaps most importantly, a professional mentor you can truly trust becomes a friend you can go to when you’re having a terrible day at work and need to vent. They’re probably just listen to you, chuckle at your amateurishness, and point you in the right direction.

The Spiritual Mentor

Spirituality is a lifelong journey with incredible ups and downs. It’s a lonely road to walk alone. Every man needs a spiritual mentor to help them along this path. A spiritual mentor should be someone who carries himself in his faith in a way that inspires you to be better and helps your faith become stronger. He is someone who won’t dismiss your doubts and will instead help you grapple with them. He’s someone with which you can discuss and expand your insights. A spiritual mentor holds you accountable when you’re slacking off in your commitments. He’s someone who will impart the spiritual perspective on things when you’re beset with difficulties or dealing with grief.

The Intellectual Mentor

If you’re not a religious or spiritual kind of guy(or even if you are), seek out an intellectual mentor. An intellectual mentor can be a particularly valuable resource while you’re in school. They can point you to books that will further your education or challenge you in discussion that will stretch your world view. An intellectual mentor can be used to bounce ideas off of while you’re writing a research paper. An intellectual mentor can be useful even after school. Your education isn’t complete until you die. Seek out men who can help increase your knowledge and ability to think throughout your life.

Be a Man Mentor

Just as you need man mentors, so too do other men. No one needs guidance in the art of manliness more than boys and young men, who are trying to figure how to become worthy men. Every man should make mentoring a part of his life. Here are just a few ways to do that:

  • Become a Scout leader. Boy Scout troops always need volunteers who are eager to make a difference in boys’ lives.
  • Become a Big Brother. A lot of young men out there are growing up without a positive father figure in their lives. Be the man these boys can turn to and emulate as they grow up.
  • Volunteer with your church’s youth group. Lucky is the young man can find a man who is both an older friend and a spiritual mentor.
  • Get to know your kids’ friends. I guess some kids try to hide from adults, but I always liked chatting it up with my friends’ parents. Some of my friend’s dads became my friend in their own right. Obviously, you don’t want to be the dorky dad who’s always hanging around, and you should know when to let your son and his friends alone. But if they’re game, it’s okay to hang out with them from time to time. Take you son and his friends fishing or hunting.

How about you all? What has been your experience with mentors? Is there a man mentor who has had a profound influence on your life? Are you mentoring a young man now? Drop a line in the comment box and share with us.

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marshall | bondChristian February 16, 2009 at 12:57 am

What about an older woman mentor?

I suppose that doesn’t qualify as a man mentor, but it does qualify as a mentor for a man. Having someone you can go to for advice from a female perspective can always be enriching. Hot girl-next-door mentors don’t count.

2 Darla February 16, 2009 at 4:50 am

I love your blog, and I’m so happy to see someone doing something for males. Got knows that’s few and far between these days. I’m a woman of 58 who’s been married for 37 years, and I’m forwarding it to everyone I know who might benefit from it. (That’s about everyone I know.)

Thanks so much for all your hard, high-quality, inspirational work.

Best wishes

3 Edin February 16, 2009 at 5:27 am

Great post. As everything on The Art of Manliness. You guys are doing a tremendous favor to all men. And to all women as well. We live in time when everything is changed. Everything is degenerated. The men become women and the women become men. You’ve trying to put the things on their places. The men have to become men again and the women must stay women. It is God’s law. Those who don’t believe in God will call it the law of nature. But either way the roles of males and females are known. Always were, always will be. I guess you are pioneers on this field. Keep doing this job guys.

4 Darla February 16, 2009 at 6:10 am

I agree. Just watch TV and the movies. So often, everyone is smarter than the men are portrayed. Men should be mentoring other men. Like “community organizers,” you must stick together because in our society, men are one of the few groups who can be slammed with impunity.

Every man needs a mentor. Every man must be a mentor.

5 Mark smith February 16, 2009 at 6:48 am

This is why finding a professional mentor is so essential. Seek out a guy at work who has been there awhile and who is in a position you eventually want to attain. A professional mentor can give you honest feedback about how you’re doing, warn you about what not to do, introduce you to valuable connections, give you advice about how to get promoted, and put in a good word for you to the higher-ups.

6 Jim Black February 16, 2009 at 7:44 am

Being a good friend in the context of seeking and telling the truth in love is the best mentoring for me. You can get a ‘professional mentor’ in a Psychiatrist’s or Clinical Psychologist’s office. You can also have one with your your boss, but a good friend – seek to be one and work to earn one – in the context of iron sharpening iron can not only be honest, but also – long-term – much more fulfilling. To me anyway.

7 NZR February 16, 2009 at 8:07 am

I have a professional mentor of sorts, someone who had supervised my professional internship while in college, who stills gets together with me every now and then to talk over a meal.
I have some older friends that have helped me along the way, as well as back in high school an older friend helped me out of a couple jams and helped me understand a lot of things.

I plan on giving back too. The district is building a new middle school in my town. I told the principal I would like to come in and show the students what I do with mapping, computers and geography. I have also been in contact with the local scouting groups and help my younger cousins with advice and guidance (and provide that all important open door if they want to talk).

8 David Pierce February 16, 2009 at 11:51 am

This is great stuff. I love the point of needing a different mentor for different parts of your life; I think too often, we try to get one person to walk us through life, but in reality we need different people to help us learn and understand different aspects of our lives.

I’ve also found that being a mentor is at least as rewarding as being mentored. It goes back to the old saying, “if you want to learn, teach.” In spending time with others, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I live my own life. Giving back gives to me at least as much as it gives to others.

Thanks for this post!

9 oracle989 February 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Excellent article, Brett. I think it’s great that you’re doing this site, and hopefully this article will inspire some of us readers to seek or become mentors.

10 Art Gonzalez February 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm

For me, my mentor has been my uncle Alvaro a retired Sergeant Major with the US Army. He’s always been quick with great advice and always been my favorite uncle.

Many blessings,

Art Gonzalez
Quantum Knights

11 Bryant February 16, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Thanks for another great article. In my profession, architecture, having a mentor is a required part of completing your internship process and gaining licensure. It is actually common to have this professional mentor be someone from outside of your firm. In part this is because so many architecture firms are small, but in large part, there is a strong benefit from having someone outside of your office politics to talk to, to offer advice about situations that may arise at work, and to help you keep an eye on the big picture of your career and life goals, even when that may mean moving on to another job. Now, of course, both men and women are mentors and mentees in this process, but it is a great example of benefiting form the wisdom and experience of someone who has been there before.

12 Kelly February 17, 2009 at 10:44 am

Great article. I particularly liked how you described different type of mentors, which will have me on looking for a new type of mentor.

13 Mitchel February 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I would like to publicly thank all the men in my life that had a part in mentoring me. Unfortunately most of my favorites have passed away. Currently I have one older friend that I work with from time to time that I have only recently met three years ago. So this post goes out to old man Fred and every other great man who spent a little time filling my head with stories of the great depression, two world wars, vietnam, the virtues and woes of both political parties, about love, family, funny jokes and all other sorts of this and that because it makes me who I am today.

14 Daddy-O February 20, 2009 at 8:40 am

Sadly, I do not have any sort of mentor.

Now that I look back on it, I see the men in my life being the the very thing that I am developing myself away from. The men in my life are largely not business minded, not intellectually curious, and strive more for material gain (resulting in debt) than for a solid character.

There are those that I would consider myself more equal to than being able to look up to. That may sound haughty, but it is not meant to. It is meant to be honest.

I have found my “mentors”, however, in books. Both in great works of fiction, and in the pages of history I find tremendous men of intellect, character, boldness, and virtue.

George Washington was a tremendous man of duty, honor, and style. His resolve was rock solid, and his bravery unquestioned. His seconds, Nathaniel Greene and Henry Knox were both exceptional men. Deitrich Bonhoeffer is a hero of mine, a man who struggled with truth and morality, and had his life taken for it. Even Jean Valjean from Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserable” is an outstanding character who is the model of redemption and a righteous man. …There are so many others: Athanasius, Frederick Douglas, Don Diego Vega (From Johnston McCulley’s “Zorro”), Abraham Lincoln, Sir Percy Blankenley (from Baroness Orczy’s “The Scarlet Pimpernel”), Lt. Michael Murphy (winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor for giving his life to save his fellow Navy SEALs)*… these are the men that inspire me, and many more like them.

But the One who inspires me most is Jesus Christ.

*(Lt. Murphy’s story can be read in Marcus Lutrell’s “Lone Survivor”. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. I read it almost 2 years ago, and I still think often of Lt. Murphy. He was a good man.)

15 Matt February 21, 2009 at 12:02 am

theres an author named John Elderege who talks a lot like this in his books on manhood in Christanity. very interesting stuff and good stuff too. i highly suggest wild at heart or way of the wild heart.

16 Jorge February 21, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I have been a mentor to many friends for quite a long time. In my own generation, I was the one who matured and had more experiences sooner than the others. I have helped many friends and friends of my friends in many different subjects, and they always come to me when they feel troubled or just when they want to listen to me.

I’m just 21 years old, and I have been doing this for more than four years. As for my young age, I know that my mentoring may not be as good as the mentoring of an older and more experienced man, but this is a possition I’ve been assuming naturally, without pretending or forcing anything. I’ve always enjoyed so much helping others, and I’m very thankful that I have something to share with them.

But, unfortunatelly, on the other hand, I’ve never had a mentor. I’ve always wanted to have one, I’ve always wanted to feel the way my friends feel about me. I may have grown up sooner than the others, but that doesn’t mean I know everything. I also need help once in a while or listen to some words of advice from someone more inteligent and experienced.

Maybe a year or more ago, I felt so bad for that that I refused to help anyone. I made up excuses in order to not lend them a hand, or tried to convince them that they won’t find any sort of answer or knowledge from me.
I felt really bad and depressed. I felt alone.

Nowadays, I’m still helping my friends, but in a sort of limited way. I still can’t fill that feeling of emptiness at not having someone with me who could teach me all those things that I don’t know. I think I won’t be fair with myself if I don’t limit myself when helping others.

Am I being selfish with this actitude? Or is it a normal reaction to feel alone and confused in a case like this? It’s hard for me to stand this.

17 twiseetut February 23, 2009 at 7:58 am

My mentor was my father. I think for a boy it’s the best way.

18 Ernesto February 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

@ Jorge,

You might not be selfish. But you can’t give what you haven’t got. It’s a principle stated by John Eldredge in his books on the matter.

Maybe you had a rich interior to pour on younger men, but that source has become dry and needs to be filled up again. Take your time to find your mentors brother, then your own mentoring will flow naturally.

19 Олег March 18, 2009 at 7:26 pm

theres an author named John Elderege who talks a lot like this in his books on manhood in Christanity. very interesting stuff and good stuff too. i highly suggest wild at heart or way of the wild heart.

20 Карина March 25, 2009 at 3:29 am

Clever man. Good life and he’s good friend..I think

21 Олег March 29, 2009 at 8:26 am

It’s very usefull for me

22 Tom Galloway May 2, 2009 at 1:21 pm

We lived in Edmond, OK from 1979 to 1985 and knew Andrew Lester very well. I have two of his paintings and his original bust of Daniel Boone. He gave the bust to my wife because she is a direct descendant of the Boones through Daniel’s brother, Edward. That’s the way Andrew was. If he liked you, he gave you something! We lived in Logan County, just North of Waterloo Road and Andrew lived in Guthrie where he had his own studio. My son Paul, who is now an artist in NYC, was only an eight-year-old when we left Oklahoma, but he was very impressed meeting a great sculpter and artist when he was a kid, just learning to draw.
In 1986, Andrew stayed with us in New Braunfels to attend the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of The Alamo. Andrew is a direct descendant of Davy Crockett, and his bust of Davy is in a prominent place at the Alamo today. Wherever we went, he was treated as a special guest!

He was a great man, and we miss him very much!

Tom Galloway

23 outheader July 15, 2009 at 7:28 am

We lived in Edmond, OK from 1979 to 1985 and knew Andrew Lester very well. I have two of his paintings and his original bust of Daniel Boone. He gave the bust to my wife because she is a direct descendant of the Boones through Daniel’s brother, Edward. That’s the way Andrew was. If he liked you, he gave you something! We lived in Logan County, just North of Waterloo Road and Andrew lived in Guthrie where he had his own studio. My son Paul, who is now an artist in NYC, was only an eight-year-old when we left Oklahoma, but he was very impressed meeting a great sculpter and artist when he was a kid, just learning to draw.

24 skuter777 July 15, 2009 at 7:49 am

two of his paintings and his original bust of Daniel Boone. He gave the bust to my wife because she is a direct descendant of the Boones through Daniel’s brother, Edward. That’s

25 Sofa July 17, 2009 at 5:00 am

very god post!!!

26 Arturka July 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm

yes god very god!!!

27 Mariya July 20, 2009 at 11:24 am

Tom Galloway хороший комент)))

28 Pavlusya July 21, 2009 at 7:00 am

Every man needs a mentor. Every man must be a mentor.

29 Jon July 23, 2009 at 11:20 am

This is a great article. When Brad Pitt’s character in Fight Club says “we’re a generation of men raised by women” it wasn’t purely for the plot, it struck a chord with men everywhere. I’ve had a few mentors, but wish I had a more permanent one. Great job.

30 Mihaylina July 27, 2009 at 8:52 am

Great article. I particularly liked how you described different type of mentors, which will have me on looking for a new type of mentor.

31 Meletiy August 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Every man needs a mentor. Every man must be a mentor. :D

32 Hristosha August 10, 2009 at 11:27 am

Great article. I particularly liked how you described different type of mentors, which will have me on looking for a new type of mentor. super

33 Ninelka August 13, 2009 at 5:32 am

It’s very usefull for me!!! cool

34 Carl Muthman August 18, 2009 at 11:59 pm

I would say that a lot of my dad’s friends were my mentors. There were also some older men that I worked with and for. No one on a long term basis but some of them made a deep impact in a very short time. I sure miss those old guys.

35 Igulya September 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

The heart of this ministry is to reach out to the fatherless boys in our churches. We challenge, encourage and equip men to help our boys grow into men of character and integrity, to help them become the men God made them to be. To make a difference!

36 Lianka September 22, 2009 at 8:07 am

Вот бы еще по русски.

37 Pavlinich September 23, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Every man must be a mentor.

38 ManInTheMaking October 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm

All I can say is I think Man Mentors are one of the most important needs in any young man’s life. Though I had a father, I was in desperate need of a man who I could look up to and talk to and have as a role model. Thankfully, this year, I have finally found one and I thank God for it.
Sadly I’m 21 and this is just starting, but better late than never. By far, it ‘s better late than never.

39 Vedenya November 7, 2009 at 2:01 am

I believe that if a boy grows up without a father, then in future there will be little masculinity

40 Mari OBrien November 30, 2009 at 12:08 am

I also had the privilege of meeting Andrew Lester. He and my beloved Aunt Iliene “Eanie” Duncan from Purcell, OK were good friends. He also kindly shared his art with her. I only spent one afternoon with Andrew but have never forgotten him. He and my Aunt Eanie had such a joy about them.

41 CA February 9, 2010 at 12:03 am

My biggest mentor in life is my father. He has and still does mentor me in all 4 of the categories this article posits. While most of my male friends have gone through (or are still going through) times in their lives where their relationship with their fathers were poor, I have always considered my father to be a good man who I can look up to.

Other notable man-mentors in my life include my father-in-law, who gave me another perspective altogether on life, relationships and many of the things that troubled me about my father, my brother-in-law, whose constant drive for intellectual improvement has frequently been an inspiration to me, and my college roommate, who, though he has given up his original goal of entering the priesthood, is a constant reminder to me to seek the Lord in all I do.

42 Sarah Joy Albrecht February 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm

For those who do not have a mentor, please consider mentoring others. I think you’ll find that, in helping others, you will also help yourself. When you realize the gravity of someone observing what you’re doing – just like a teacher being observed while teaching – you realize your own mistakes and how you need to correct them. There is a vulnerability required when being a mentor.

Many times people choose not to mentor because they think that they are not good enough to mentor. “No one would listen to me.” What comes off as lack of self worth is oftentimes selfishness and pride. It is a refusal to be vulnerable.

I once wrote on my blog when talking about parenting (a form of mentoring!), “We need to love our children enough to overcome the embarrassment of our past to teach them how to have a better future.

We must not give children the notion that adults are perfect. We need to teach them that ’seeking forgiveness’ does not have age limits.”

43 Loren C. Klein February 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Good call Sarah. I find as a teacher I have plenty of opportunities for mentoring my students and providing advice as they begin to deal with “grown up things” in middle school, even though God knows I am in so dire need of mentoring myself in those same area.

I find it rather strange that on one hand I have such a miserable time dealing with women (I was dumped just in time for Valentine’s Day), yet I’ve provided sagely advice for one girl that kept her head on straight when she could have easy ended up in a mess of a relationship, and another this past year used a chat we had to focus herself on the future she has and not look at the complete losers she goes to school with as potential relationship material.

Talk about not practicing what you preach… *sigh*

44 matt February 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Brett, i love the site, always good articles that are well written. I found one of my mentors, though unknown to me at the time, in Guthrie as well, it was my grandfather. While we didnt see eye to eye often, i was always up to mischief, he started me down the path im on now, being an officer in the US military, as well as teaching me the basic principles of hard work, discipline and the value of helping others.

45 Felix February 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I have one too.
I got to know my mentor when I was in a band recording in his studio.
The band was one of those typical ones that fell apart in the recording studio and after that, I was rather listless and had no idea what to do with my life (I was 20 and was well on my way to dropping out of school).

One day, I got to mess around with the recording equipment and did some tweaking. He noticed and said I’ve got some potential in his line of work as an audio recording engineer.

4 years on and free-lancing around a lot, I’ve now gotten myself a nice full-time position as an audio technician and sound manager in a church while studying in an audio engineering course part-time.

I owe my mentor much for this drive and passion I have for this line of work, my job.

46 Mac March 14, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Ok, please stop calling black people African-Americans. 1) White people are called white people, not Caucasians. Thus, it makes sense to call black people, black people. 2) They are not African. They are American. Unless they are off the boat/plane, they are Americans. I don’t call a man whose ancestors came from Ireland an Irish-American, or a man who has Scot blood a Scottish-American. We don’t call a man whose great, great-grandparents came from France, a French-American. We don’t call a man whose family from Germanyhas been in the US for as little as 70 years a German-American. 3) Most black people have been in the United States for over 210 years. We began importing slaves in the 1600s, I believe around 300,000 in that century. Then in the 1700s the number jumped to 5-7 million. Finally, in between 1800-1820 3-4 million slaves were brought to the seasoning camps in the Caribbean. From there, they were sent to Brasil, Argentina, etc. OR the Carolinas and Virginia. But think about it, after then we didn’t need anymore slaves imported. We already had generations of slaves in the US. We weren’t buying anymore slaves from Africa. No, rather we were buying them from our neighbors. So no more African-American nonsense. Please. Man up, and don’t try to be politically correct to the T. It’s unbecoming, makes you seem weak, and no black people that I know actually care whether or not you call them black.

47 Don Soard March 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

During the late 1930s, Andrew Lester lived with my parents in Oklahoma City. They became good friends with Lester and he was quite fond of them. When he prepared to leave their place, Andrew wanted to give them a gift. He gave them his sculpture of a spanish dancer made from clay. This gift from Andrew was treasured by my folks all the rest of their days. It is true what Tom Galloway said: “That’s the way Andrew was. If he liked you, he gave you something!”. Much later in my life, my mother passed away. Andrew noticed the obit in the newspaper and wrote my father a wonder letter some 45 years after Andrew last saw my mother. What a wonder man and true friend he truly was for my parents and especially, my father, Harold A. Soard.

48 Lin April 2, 2010 at 2:53 am

I met Andrew when his bust of Chief Black Kettle was presented at the 125th Anniversary of the Battle of the Washita. In the ensuing years and until his death, we developed a deep friendship and yes, he gave me precious gifts that I treasure. He also chose me to preserve the lifework he still possessed til his death. I spent hours cataloging that work, recording his wisdom and documenting his biography. I was there at the US Olympics Committee Headquarters in Colorado when his bronze bust of Jim Thorpe was dedicated and in Oklahoma City when he and Ferguson Jenkins were honored at Red Ribbon week on the steps of the Capitol. I had other unique opportunities to see Andrew’s work.

He was a passionate artist and I had the honor of selecting his final resting place on this Earth, but was out of state and not able to attend his memorial service. I was honored, tho that a poem I wrote in his honor was read at that service. Long Live the wonderful memory of Andrew Lester!

49 allan July 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

extremely great article & amazing content on your website.
actually, one of the greatest overlooked chararacteristics of Jesus Christ is the fact that – before he created a church – he called a team together to mentor…
without traveling outside of the small nation of israel he changed the world by FIRST transforming the lives of a few MEN…
also… being a disciple is not just a “christian thing” – artists, musicians, politicians, etc… would atract disciples… it was an ancient form of “mentoring”…
the greatest responsiblity is on the mentor…. HE must have the goods if he is goinna impart and impact a future generation.
THANKS again for thought provocating material!

50 MMETJA October 27, 2012 at 6:53 am

it was very fulfilling to read this article.I also have my own proffesional mentor,who happens to be a lady. I have found myself mentoring many people especially young ladies i met while i was a principal.It is something i find worth doing for those in need.Its amazing at how people just show some trust in you and it happens!

51 Jordan Fitch November 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

What a wonderfully insightful blog. I myself wish to share these truths with my brothers. I am becoming more aware, in my own life, how desperately in need of a male influence in my life. Being that I am a follower of Christ, and that my family does not support me in my pursuit, I have found that I am quite alone as a disciple, and that I am left to my own insecurities and deeply rooted psychological baggage with no clear direction. I can’t wait to read more on this site, and may the Lord continue to bless your labor.

52 Trish February 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

The first time I meet Mr. Lester I worked for Dr. Heler and Andrew came in for relief. I love meeting and getting to know all people and Andrew was one of them. He offered me a picture he drew of the buffalo,I was young and didn’t know what to do or say so I never got it. Years later I started working for Mercy at Guthrie with Dr. Dixon,Dr. Grizzle,Dr. Davis the list goes on. But anyway I meet Andrew Lester again and I was thrilled to see him. He remebered me and again offered me the painting this time I accepted and went to receive it and I got to meet his wonderful wife.He told me to get it framed and when I did to bring the border and he signed it for me,I was honored and thrilled he did this for me. As years went by I lost touch with him and was saddened to here that he went to be with our lord,but I’m happy he’s not in pain any more and miss him alot!!Thank you Andrew for being a blessing for every peoson you met,we love and miss you dearly.

53 LT March 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Greetings, great topic. I found this blog by googling “Christian church men male mentoring for adults”…I am in my 40′s and have never had a mentor (I only met my father three times and my grandfather who I lived with committed suicide when I was 8)It is frustrating that most mentoring is focused on teens…my question is what happens when you are in your 20′s, 30′s, 40′s, 50′s, etc…and have never been taught things that can only be learned by a man?

54 Jeremy May 28, 2013 at 8:38 am

Like many of the posters here, I came across this blog looking “adult man mentors”, or something similar. I’m 35, grew up without a father, and my grandfather who I admire tremendously died when I was 9. I have never had an intentioanl mentor in my life. I have mentored several young men and women and have always had an intense yearning for a mentor. This blog post gives great insight into going about finding mentors, which has always been a question of mine (as an adult).

55 Aaron March 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I could use a mentor, I just don’t know where to find one.

56 John March 11, 2014 at 2:44 am

I’ve only recently stubbled upon this site. I have definitely enjoyed what I have read. This article just brought to mind two mentors that I have had, one living, one deceased. I was lucky to have them both as personal, and professional mentors. I will definitely be stricken when the other passes.

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