One of my dear friends and professional colleagues, Dr. Ann O'Doherty, adds another perspective to the view of mentoring. Dr. O, who now professes for the University of Washington, believes that the impact of powerful mentorship transcends one generation.
Here's the effect:
I was/am mentored by a thoughtful and effective mentor,
who was greatly influenced by his own thoughtful and effective mentor,
who was greatly influenced by her own thoughtful and effective mentor,
Thus, retrospectively, that makes me a grandmentee and great-grandmentee and a great-great-grandmentee of some extremely capable, wise, and influential mentors. Some of whom will never even be known to me.
Conversely, as I mentor those within my sphere of influence, I do so with an awareness that I may beget grandmentees and great-grandmentees and great-great-grandmentees.
Paying back, paying forward. The circle of life, the circle of learning.
Thanks for your thinking, Dr. O (from one of your mentees).