Walking to the Pendleton Farmers Market started as a routine outing until I reached the flagpoles at Museum Park on South Main Street. July 17th and the flag of South Africa was flying in Pendleton. After adjusting for my own surprise--I am half South African--I followed the breadcrumbs to discover that the Lions Club was honoring Nelson Mandela Day. A shout out to the Lions Club and the work they do to balance inclusiveness and outreach while creating a sense of belonging….various flags sharing space is an ideal way to demonstrate the possibilities if we are willing to operate within their model of connectivity.
Similarly, I notice around town the many other events posted that evoke the notion of “heritage” and the willingness to invite others to experience a shared tradition, practice, or lifeway (my thoughts turn to butter and its pride of place in the pioneer experience!). We are invited to share in the pioneer experience at Heritage Station or become makers of rhythm with a handmade drumstick workshop sponsored by Crow’s Shadow. See images above for details, but note the ways in which a mastery of these skills guides us in a certain direction; creates a connection for and between us.
Mentorship similarly seeks these connections and the Mentoring U podcast, Other People’s Children with Jean Rhodes, prompts us to consider reaching out to those we may not identify with as being under our wing. She asks us to be intentional as we look to the future and consider assisting those outside of our immediate circle. As she explains, “Few adults feel the imperative to serve as helpful guides to children outside their families or communities and poor students rarely develop the skills and sense of entitlement to approach them. Short of a reality show, or better yet, less income inequality, we need a campaign to help mobilize adults to seek out opportunities to help champion other people’s children.” Hosting events like these helpful organizations are doing in Pendleton is a start. If you want to learn more about becoming the kind of advocate and mentor that Jean Rhodes has described, please consider partnering with Impact Mentoring or other similar groups that are a good fit for you, and help “other people’s children” to thrive. Listen to her podcast here :
Become a Mentor with Impact Pendleton!
Check it out at: https://www.impactpendleton.com/become-a-mentor.html
-Suzanne Church, AmeriCorps VISTA Mentor Coordinator