Robert J. Wicks, a professor at Loyola College in Baltimore, begins this fluid and fine exposition on the sharing of wisdom with a quotation from Benjamin Disraeli: "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own." Mentoring is different from therapy, counseling, or spiritual direction. It can be practiced by anyone who sincerely wants to help and guide others. This can include parents, business associates, educators, A.A. sponsors, and volunteers.
Wicks, who is a professional mentor, believes there are no quick fixes or magical answers to life's difficulties. In a winsome series of 40 mentoring lessons, he salutes qualities such as openness, a caring presence, a sense of humor, patience, respect, and inner ease. Here are two examples: (1) "Notice the essential learning that is present in all failures and losses so it can be integrated into people's wisdom" and (2) "To cultivate a growthful and open mentoring process, foster intrigue about people's behavior both successes and failures and excitement about the process of discovery that leads to clarity."
This handy little work succeeds in its goal of adding richness to mentoring relationships. Wicks also answers questions about this art and concludes with an annotated bibliography.