Commenter RichardP stated,
There are so many things in the world that we cannot possible think about them all. There are so many “obvious” things in the world that we cannot possibly think of them all. That is the value of mentors. They help guide our thoughts through what can be safely ignored and what should be considered. They point out the things that are “obvious” to us as soon as they are pointed out; we just had not considered them before. That was the value in the past of older men working with younger men; older women working with younger women; extended families living in close proximity. Wisdom for navigating life was passed from the old to the young in the course of living together / working together over time.
You can’t really ever know something until it is brought to your attention. If it is never brought to your attention …
I long ago determined to not beat myself over the head when choices I make turn out to be less than optimal. Because – I can only choose based on the information I have available to me at the moment (I do believe in keeping oneself as informed as possible). And it is not possible to know everything. Therefore, the ocassional screw-up is to be expected as part of the overhead of life.
But it is nice when folks care enough to point out things to me that are worthy of my consideration. As the author did for the Uber driver. Part of what is meant by “It takes a village”. Group knowledge (not groupthink) is usually larger than individual knowledge.
Young men typically don’t have all of the knowledge that they need. With a system stacked against them, they must be extra diligent looking out for their interests. Mentors can fill in this knowledge. In my younger days, I was mentored by several older men. They were wise to world; they were wise to my profession. I was willing to listen and consider what they said. They provided me with real-time information, stuff that I needed to think about at that exact moment.
I have mentored several young men in my day. One factor that they all had was that they wanted to be mentored. This is key. One has to be looking for it. Surprisingly, many young men have not really been interested in mentoring, even with me being on the active lookout for such men. Perhaps many believe that they have it all figured out, which normally is not true.
One needs to be careful about choosing a mentor. Often the people who act like they are smartest are not. Look for a quiet confidence. Consider the things that the candidate says; do they jive with what you see in the world? Can they explain clearly and logically why they believe what they believe?
Note that the primary purpose of a mentor for you is to learn how the world truly works, not how it is supposed to work or how a politically correct world would work. This is what you need. Find the men who have this knowledge. Make their knowledge your own.