Sometimes, I cringe at disrespectful tone some "expert" prepper pundits use when imparting their "knowledge".
The problem is that when people make me cringe, I do not accept it idly.
If it’s untruth, I shine truth on it.
If it’s illogical thinking, I refute it.
If it’s hatefulness, well, game on because I have no patience for that.
My basic question is: If you have expertise, why not just be a good mentor?
1. Use an inclusive tone.
Don’t be a D.I.C.K. to people.
With some #preppers, it's all about being the Doomsday-Inciting, Commando Know-it-alls of our readiness / preparedness community.
While, I readily accept that there are those who know more than I do, the tone of the strident idiots who want to make people—they see as lesser than—know their place, angers me.
A true mentor empowers people and never lords his expertise over them.
His goal is enlightenment.
His asset is patience.
His hope is to no longer be needed.
2. Engage in “at potential” thinking.
True mentoring is never about the mentor.
It is about the people seeking to grow and learn.
With a mentor there are no people who are “at risk”, only those who are “at potential”.
Human beings have a tremendous potential to learn if they so chose and that learning mitigates risk.
By contrast, the expert wants accolades and the lights shining on him.
The mentor asks: “How can I help you?”, then listens carefully, and then is present for the learner's growth.
A mentor’s fondest wish is for others to become mentors.
3. Let go of those who chose not to listen and learn.
“Some men you just can’t reach…which is the way he wants it.”
“Cool Hand Luke” is an iconic movie and the above abridged quote sums up perfectly the notion that some people are unreachable.
Maybe for now.
But if they come around, they will remember that when they were not ready to listen and learn, you did not force the issue.
Being “evangelical” as a means to get people into prepping is exactly how to fail as a mentor.
4. Dismiss WTF responses!
They aren't rejection.
We’ve all been there if we’ve ever tried to explain the purpose and the need of prepping to anyone who does not engage in it currently.
A #WTF response usually gets people’s hackles raised and we get defensive.
We feel dismissed.
Ironically, the person has not shut you down; he is merely uncomfortable with what you've said.
The antidote is to be a bit self-deprecating—“I know. I know. I thought this idea was crazy too when I first heard it. You can think I’m crazy, but you’re my friend so you’ll cut me some slack.”
That conveys “I’m still going to do this.”
It begs the question “Well, why is it so important to him?”
5. Let someone else be the savior messiah.
They say that misery loves company, but sometimes that company comes in the form of someone who wants to take pleasure in the misery of others.
Some pretend to care—and they seem compassionate—but inside they are saying “Bless her heart” which is a Southern way of looking down at someone with judgmental pity.
In times of emotional turmoil, be silent and helpful.
And remember, you’re not a therapist.
Your silent presence will do more to mentor the person back to center than saying you know how they feel, or—worse—opening The Bible and playing pastor.
Prepare well, my friends.