Best mentors?
The silent mentors?
The still small voice within …
I got this message from Gramma …
She was making bread …
That was 1947, I was 11 …
“Gram, why are you talking to yourself?”
A wry smile, then …
“I talk to myself so I can get to know everybody!”
I don’t remember any other words she ever said.
Nor Grampa’s.
In all the years I was raised by them,
can’t recall another word they said, ever.
But they did mentor me, just being there …
just being who they were.
I did “hear” them.
Grampa waiting till I got home when out too late …
We ate toasted cheese sandwiches, two, three …
And Gramma always had the house warm
early next morning,
oatmeal ready before I want off to serve
early mass then school on those cold
dark Pennsylvania mornings…
They taught love, caring, just being there
for a lost, hurt kid filled with anger
for a father who kidnapped me from
the alcoholic mom I loved so much …
Yes, mentors can be silent folks,
still they hear you …
Even if you can’t remember the words,
your ‘still small voice’ deep inside
heard their still small voices …
loved their toasted cheese,
loved their oatmeal,
loved them,
still do …

My grandparents were my first mentors, and while I can’t recall their words, they taught me what it means to be alive. Opened me to learn later from so many more, like Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman, a regular subject in my DowJones-MarketWatch columns even before he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002, another great mentor and teacher. And Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard, I interviewed and wrote of him often, he inspired me to write The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing! I’m deeply indebted to all them, along with spiritual mentors, like Alan Watts, Gary Zukav, Scott Peck, Wayne Dyer, Bill Bridges, Eckhart Tolle, Seth Godin, Bill Wilson, Joseph Campbell and so many more.

About the author

Paul Farrell

Dr. Farrell is a Behavioral Economist. His books include The Millionaire Code; The Millionaire Meditation: Stress Management for Wall Street, Corporate America & Entrepreneurs; The Zen Millionaire; The Winning Portfolio; Expert Investing on The Net; Mutual Funds on The Net; and The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing. He also published 1,643 columns on DowJones-MarketWatch and for years was their #1 traffic-generating columnist. Before the Internet, he edited & published FNX: Future News Index, a financial newsletter for stock market traders. Earlier he was a Wall Street investment banker with Morgan Stanley, Executive Vice President of the Financial News Network; and Associate Editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He has a Doctorate in Psychology, Juris Doctor, Masters in Regional Planning and Bachelor of Architecture. He worked on the Esalen organic farm and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as Staff Sergeant in aviation computer technology.

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