The Difference Between a Buddy and a Mentor

Most of us have buddies, but most of us don’t have mentors.  Further, most of us often confuse our buddies as mentors or we try to be a buddy instead of a mentor!  There’s a huge difference.  Let me explain.

I don’t need a mentor to be a buddy; I need a mentor to actually mentor me.  A buddy doesn’t require accountability, but a mentor does.  A buddy is usually a peer, but a mentor is more of a “parent.”  A buddy will rarely challenge you about anything, but a mentor won’t let you get away with anything.  A buddy can be too concerned with being liked, but a mentor is more concerned with your “being”- guiding you through life situations, that you may not like.  A buddy is someone you hang out with, but a mentor is someone you get help from.

Many times too, we opt to be someone’s buddy rather than their mentor because we falsely believe that they need a friend when what they really need is a mentor.  This is especially true with young people.  Young people have buddies, they have friends- what they really need are mentors.  Mentoring a young person, or anyone else for that matter, requires some things that go far beyond merely being someone’s buddy- it requires a profound realization of the impact you will have on someone’s life by virtue of the example you provide!  Someone who recognizes they are serving a mentoring role in someone else’s life, especially a young person, doesn’t have the luxury to be casual or treat it on a “buddy” basis.  Mentoring is all about being a role model of how to handle life’s challenging situations, to make decisions, to have ambitions, etc. that are determined by a deep sense and conviction of “rightness.”

I’m certainly not suggesting a mentor can’t be or become a friend.  But in respect to mentoring relationships there should always be the mutual respect that the “mentor” most likely has the advantages of age, experience, and spiritual maturity.

Advertisements

One response to “The Difference Between a Buddy and a Mentor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s