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Mentorship Is Petting The Dog Under The Sea

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Salvador Dali’s “Dali Sleeping In The Shade of the Sea”

Mentorship is a really important topic here at Mezzacello. It is built into our OS and the point of Grow, Maintain, Sustain and Explain. Mentorship is Curating Empathy and Curiosity. It is the magic of petting the dog under the sea. Salvador Dali was magic.

The Origins of Magic

I was chatting this morning with my niece Sarah who often helps me with jobs around the farm. We were discussing mentorship and art and where two topics intersect. The question was raised about the first piece of art I remember seeing and how I knew it was art. It was this stunning piece by Salvador Dali.

I remember exactly why this resonated with me so; It was unique, a little scary, unexpected, and magical. This piece changed the way I thougt about the world. It helped me understand that there are two realities; the one we live in and the one inside of us all. That inner reality defies convention, physics, reason. When we lose it we feel lost.

We are talking about the way a child sees the world, how they dream, and imagine. Additionally, we talk all the time about how important it is to NOT lose it, but we rarely touch on WHY we should NOT lose it. We should not lose it is because it is built into us to see the world this way. I think we stop seeing the world this way because we consider it unsustainable, and yet, we still dream.

Reframing the Problem

This is where mentorship comes in. For me, being a mentor is very much like being this curious and innocent child in this painting. Any child will say, “Of course we lift the skin from the sea and look at the world beneath. Look1 There’s a puppy!”. This capacity to look askance at challenge is what I often refer to as reframing the problem. It is a unique gift in mentorship. It gives humans the grace to dream, imagine, and fail — and succeed with safety. It helps us reframe the world.

I mentor not just for that reason though. I also have a powerful desire to #PayItForward. I want to give young people (and peers) the freedom to look at the world with a cheat code and a leg up to reimagining solutions and situations. As a kid, I never had that – but I am all for giving it to others. In addition to being a futurist, and inventor, an educator; I am also a farmer. I plant seeds because I know I can grow more.

The Seeds of Change and the Sleeping Dog is the Future

Every time I mentor, I create a new future, good karma, and access for that person to create countless new futures for others. Mentorship is dynamic, unpredictable, delicate, and chaotic. You will not know what the impact of your mentorship will turn out. You can’t know. And that is why we lift the skin on the ocean. That is we dream about the life beneath the “real” life. We can’t know because there are quantum locks that forbid this kind of exact knowledge.

But we can dream.

All things being equal, I know I can imagine, hope, dream, and overcome the problem by reframing the real question. I can trick reality into showing another a new way of coming at the problem. The issue is not that the dog shouldn’t be there under the sea, it’s that the child doesn’t know how to get to the dog. We all of us want to pet that doggo in there. We just need new keys for old doors, that’s all. Mentorship.

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