There was a time less dangerous than today, when a child could have adult mentors. I say this because I am becoming more and more convinced that child abuse at the hands of non-related predators, is a new thing. I am not convinced that the perversion of pedophilia was as common before. I tend to think that the degree of selfishness that has been allowed in society has bred a monster that says it is Okay to think of oneself first and this has increased the perverts in our society.
It is however too bad because we can no longer trust our children with other people. The idea of the childhood mentor is now almost too dangerous to consider. When I was a kid I had a couple childhood mentors that I would go to talk to.
One was Mr A, who was a teacher at a private school and rented a room from friends of our family. Mr A, was a very devoted teacher, he would talk about things like Classical literature, and tell stories about places he had visited, and even talk on religion and such I used to go over to his place to drink tea and listen to tales about Jason and the Argonauts, with my buddy M . We would also do things like make campfires and I think he was the one that showed us how to make tin soldiers from automotive body solder..
Another mentor was Mr B. This guy knew more about God than any person I had ever met. Mr B. would read the bible every day and then he would try to find a way that even the most obscure passage could help his life. He had a huge collection of books in a small basement apartment. We for a while had a very intense weekly bible study. The one thing that impressed me about Mr B is that he believed that it was normal for a Christian to question their belief (not the nature of Christ’s sacrifice though) something I think gave him the advantage while trying to teach me. Having grown up in a home where my granddad would constantly question Christianity’s assumptions, I appreciated this stance. I could believe Mr B. because he wasn’t passing judgment on those that might question what they believed. My biggest complaint with the fundamentalist approach is that they do not think it is right to “work out your faith” but rely entirely on the word of pastors.
Both these men were as trustworthy as saints, and given what I have read on some saints even more trustworthy. I learned to appreciate / enjoy literature and religion, and history from these mentors. If I was a parent today however I would not want my child hanging out with strange single men. My mother knew both these guys and trusted them. The last thing that either of these men would ever do was hurt a child. Mr A really believed in teaching this is why he didn’t mind Mike and I visiting. He was a teacher at work and at home. Mr B. was a Christian and he believed that talking with the young people he worked with was important he was an evangelical and that was his purpose.
Niether of these two men would hurt a child or ever did
I don’t think that allowing a child such mentors anymore is a good idea because there are too many people today that are not focused on others, but focused on themselves. These mentors gave more than they gained from our interaction. This to me is what mentoring is about. Today there are too many monsters that have become so centered on their own gratification, that they don’t care about the impact of their personal perversions. Selfishness spoiled them selfishness made them monsters and then spread that disease to innocents. In doing so this selfishness is destroying society. Society is about cohesion about the safe and positive interaction of people young and old. Monsters like pedophiles and abusers of all types make normal social interaction impossible because we have no idea where hides the monster.