Imagine a room filled with only one lit candle but nine hundred and ninety nine dead ones. That room will appear dim. When this lit candle lights up the dead ones, the room becomes brighter because a thousand candles will shine far brighter than a single candle will. That aside, if a lit candle’s light goes out, there will always be another lit one that can light it up. This is the whole concept of mentorship— to light up dead candles!
If you are a great personality today, the key to the future is to raise people like you. If you want to have lasting relevance, you need to be intentional about raising others with a like mindset and passion. The future of a lit candle is a dead one. When it lights it up, there is hope someday that it can be lighted back when it runs out of fire.
It is interesting to note how many get all puffed up when they reach the top. They convince themselves that they will be at the top till they drop dead. They assume that there will never be anyone like them. They soon forget that just as others faded out for them to emerge, they will also fade out for others to emerge.
Life has fat and lean seasons. When our fat seasons come, we ought to remember that the next thing we should be preparing for is our lean season. First of all, we prepare for our lean season by lighting up dead candles. We prepare for our relevance when our peak season is gone by mentoring those who will come after us.
Pretty soon, our audience will be fed up with our style. They will want to taste something new and different. They will want a new experience. This is how our reign will end and others’ will begin. When the waves of life start blowing against us, no matter how well we create new, exciting content, people would rather wish it was coming from someone else. When our fat season passes, no one will give us any attention anymore.
When it has all been said and done, our greatest investment may not be the houses we built. It may not be the luxurious cars we bought. Our greatest investment will be the people we invested in when we were at the top. It will be the dead candles we were able to light up when we had enough fire burning within us.
Have you noticed how hard it is for music stars to come back into the game after their peak season has passed if they didn’t help anyone when they were at the top? Have you observed how difficult it is to resuscitate formerly huge brands that gave no helping hand to others when they were in the limelight?
The only person we help when we help others is us. When we do others a favor, we are actually doing ourselves a favor. Not everyone may return our favor when they reach the top but one of them may. Out of the hundreds we raise, one will come back to say, “Thank you” when it is their turn at the top. It is for our own good to do good!
When at the top, never shut your door to those who come knocking. When people come seeking for help, we should not withhold it from them if it is in our power to indeed help. If we can help them climb life’s ladder, why not? If we can push them a bit further than where they are now, so be it. Other people must not necessarily suffer all by themselves to run life’s race just because we suffered, too. Any lending hand to others may be that lifeline someday that will revive us when we run out of relevance.
When it is your time at the top, don’t enjoy alone. Think about those behind you. They are those who may someday be in front of you… only to return a favor you did them many years ago. When life is all rosy for you, be mindful not to forget about investing into the future— investing into people who are the future. People investment is the greatest investment.
When a lit candle lights up other dead candles, it secures its own future. One day, when its fire dies out, there will be another to light it up, too. When you reach the top, helping others reach there too secures your own future. It puts you ahead of others who helped no one in their fat season.
Dead candles have the potential to light up too so be the one to light them up. Never underestimate people who look unassuming because they came seeking for assistance. In the hands of such may be keys that will unlock your future. When you help people cross a bridge after you have crossed, they become a bridge you can cross someday to reach another destination. No help ever goes wasted.
Never assume you’d always be at the top. Never assume every day will be your fat season. Being at the top is not permanent. Just as the season of others passed, so shall yours. Just as your hard work hurled you to the top, the hard work of others will do same for them. When they have reached there, may you feature in their story as a protagonist, not an antagonist. There is nothing as beautiful as others commending you in their success stories.
Who are you mentoring!? Which dead candles are you lighting up today!?
By Kobina Ansah
The writer is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm. His new play is “Emergency Wedding”.