Pick Mentors Carefully
The Lady and Bobby

This essay deals with mentors. We need mentors on our journey down the yellow brick road of life. Mentors have learned lessons in their journey, and they can assist us using what they learned. However, it is essential to be extremely careful in the selection process. Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mentor was Czar Putin the Little. Czar Putin the Little’s mentor was Czar Peter the Great. Interestingly, Trump also looked to Putin as a mentor. Both Trump and Putin are facing walls closing upon both those losers.

On the brighter side of selecting mentors, Ti Ti, my granddaughter, has selected Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, often called the Lady, as her most important mentor.

The Lady

The Lady

Three years ago, Ti Ti started attending Gusto University. When I asked her why she wanted to go to college, she said she wanted to make Myanmar a better place to live. During that time period, Myanmar faced COVID and a coup.

Today, Aung San Suu Kyi is in solitary confinement in a prison in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw. She has faced much of her adult life under house arrest or in jail. The most recent sentence was for 33 years, including three years of hard labor. On June 19th, Aung San Suu Kyi turned 78 years while in solitary confinement.

This is Ti Ti’s office in my home.

Ti Ti Office

Hopefully, she will get a student visa from the US Embassy in Yangon. She has been accepted at a local college for the fall semester. This is where she will do her homework. You will notice two photos and her desk. The one on the right is a photo I took of her a decade ago. The other is of Aung San Suu Kyi, her mentor.

In the foreground is Ginger, my Irish Setter. Ginger patiently waits for Ti Ti’s arrival. When she gets here, Ginger will be ecstatic. It will take several days before Ginger returns to being just a hyper-active Irish Setter.

My office is at the other end of the room. This is a picture of Bobby Kennedy on my office wall. He was the most important mentor in my life. During my 80 years, I have collected many mentors, but Bobby was the most informative in making me who I am today.

Bobby Kennedy

The parallels between the Lady’s father, General Aung San, and Bobby are striking. General Aung San and Bobby were assassinated by someone who didn’t like their views.

Every email that I have sent contains this statement from Bobby. “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.” Bobby taught me well the value of dreaming.

Bobby also cautioned us about being trustees for the world that follows us. When I was young, I didn’t really grasp that insight. Into the eighth decade of my journey down my yellow brick road, I get it in spades. “Every generation inherits a world it never made; and, as it does so, it automatically becomes the trustee of that world for those who come after. In due course, each generation makes its own accounting to its children.” I don’t want to fail, especially my grandchildren and great-granddaughter.


Holding Ti Ti

Ti Ti Outside

Nonetheless, those two mentors, the Lady and Bobby, changed millions of lives, including Ti Ti and me. We both have benefited from our role models. We watched and read about the Lady and Bobby. They both showed us a path down our yellow brick roads of life.