As promised in my last blog post, I want to introduce a couple of important mentors in the Nic Nelson and the Diamonds of Denmark story. https://nicnelsonadventures.com/2014/06/08/introducing-nic-nelson/
The first of Nic’s mentors is revealed in the very first chapter of the story. A student in his first year of college, Jason is the combination of a kid and a grown-up, which makes it easy for him to relate to Nic and his friend, Kevin, on many levels. Jason has had just enough life experience that it enables him to guide and advise the boys along the way, including “rescue missions,” – one of which occurs in chapter one.
Jason is the big brother that neither Kevin nor Nic ever had; and although he is at a point in his life where he is still searching for himself, Jason is never too self-absorbed to be a good role model for the boys. Nic and Kevin easily relate to Jason and obviously admire him, which creates opportunities for Jason to be a mentor to them without it feeling like he’s lecturing or talking down to them.
In all his youthful wisdom, Jason explains to Nic the “Five Cs” for hanging tough during a local dodge ball tournament (advice we can all benefit from). He is also intuitive enough to share his mentoring responsibilities by recommending the strategic help the gang can get from Capt. Spencer for their paintball competition. In all these instances, Jason is a natural mentor for Nic and Kevin and one they can easily identify with.
A very different type of mentor enters Nic’s life when he meets Mr. Chen, owner of a local “sports emporium,” while on the hunt for paintball supplies with his friends. From their first encounter, Mr. Chen has an intriguing, philosophical air about him, as he comments to Nic about his need to prove himself while explaining, in his non-judgmental way, why this is not a negative thing for Nic to desire. Mr. Chen eventually expresses his words of wisdom regarding the impending paintball competition to Nic, Kevin and their other friends. He does it in a very simple, laconic way, yet in such a way that the young friends can easily understand his insights.
In his second encounter with Mr. Chen, Nic finds out that his unique mentoring style can also be delivered with some tongue-in-cheek humor when Mr. Chen shares his explanation for the type of paintballs he’s recommending they use. When you read this chapter, it may surprise you that his recommendation has little to do with the physical makeup of the paintballs themselves. But more importantly, Mr. Chen’s help in clarifying how retribution as opposed to revenge against Johnny (https://nicnelsonadventures.com/2014/09/07/johnnys-bullying/) is the right path for Nic makes for a very eye-opening and grown-up bit of mentoring.
Nic and his friends are very fortunate to have the likes of Jason and Mr. Chen in their corner throughout the challenging moments of the story; and from the results of these challenges, it is very apparent the mentoring paid off!