“Once upon a time in China, some believe, around the year one double-aught three, head priest of the White Lotus Clan, Pai Mei was walking down the road, contemplating whatever it is that a man of Pai Mei’s infinite power contemplates — which is another way of saying “who knows” — when a Shaolin monk appeared on the road, traveling in the opposite direction. As the monk and the priest crossed paths, Pai Mei, in a practically unfathomable display of generosity, gave the monk the slightest of nods. The nod was not returned. Now, was it the intention of the Shaolin monk to insult Pai Mei, or did he just fail to see the generous social gesture? The motives of the monk remain unknown. What is known are the consequences: The next morning Pai Mei appeared at the Shaolin Temple and demanded of the Temple’s head abbot that he offer Pai Mei his neck to repay the insult. The Abbot at first tried to console Pai Mei, only to find Pai Mei was…inconsolable. So began the massacre of the Shaolin Temple and all 60 of the monks inside at the fists of the White Lotus.” – Bill, Kill Bill 2

When I was coming up with an idea for a blog I really felt it had to be something I know a lot about. Something I love to talk about. Something I wouldn’t mind doing. That ‘something’ turned out to be stories. I know a lot of stories from books, history, movies and many other sources.

But, I didn’t think I could write strictly about stories by itself. In order for people to want to read my blog I had to offer something that people would want. And I think that, everyone, including myself, wants to be more successful in various aspects of their lives.

One way to learn to be more successful in these various aspects is to learn from others. We learn from our friends and if we’re lucky we learn from really good mentors. I’ve read many books that claim the best person to learn from is a mentor someone who has been where we are now and knows how to get to where we want to go. But mentors are difficult to find. I know, I’ve searched high and low. And my search has always met with disappointment. Then one day I realized that characters in the stories found in history, books, movies and TV were unsung or forgotten mentors. These storytellers in their writing have explored, with their characters, endless situations and actions that we can learn from.

Which brings us to this blog. This blog is about finding and learning from mentors within stories, books, movies and tv. I don’t mean characters that do things perfectly all the time. These characters make mistakes too. And it’d be smart to learn from their mistakes as well.

My idea for a blog was born. But I needed to take things further and actually get my own URL and a name that would help me brand my blog. Taking a lesson from the book ‘the Purple Cow’ by Seth Godin I wanted a URL address that would be visually memorable. The word Mentor itself, to me, wasn’t very visual. My mind just didn’t picture very much when I hear the word ‘mentor’. I also wanted a blog that would be a fun place to go and a place that didn’t take itself too seriously. Mentor just sounded too stuffy and serious.

As I went through possible names one word kept standing out. That word was ‘Monk’. For the purpose of this blog, I decided to use the term monk and mentor interchangeably.

When I hear the word monk I picture a solitary monk standing on a hill overlooking a field of green grass. A scene similar to the one Douglas Adams painted in his book ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ of the electric monk. If you read the book you’d know the electric monk’s special job. A Tivo’s job is to record shows for you, a microwave’s job is to cook for you, the electric monk’s job was to believe for you.

I later added “the forgotten” as a way of differentiating our monk from others and to recognize that sometimes we forget to learn from history, books, movies and TV. The Forgotten Monk is any character in stories from history, fiction, movies and TV that through their actions and results have something to teach us. Will Rogers has been credited with saying, “”Some learn from observation, some learn from reading. The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence”. My challenge to you is to read, observe and let The Forgotten Monk’s job be to pee on the electric fence for you. Your job, if you hang in there with me, is to learn and apply what you’ve learned from The Forgotten Monk.
We use the term ‘monk’ a little differently on this blog. In this monologue given by David Carradine from the movie Kill Bill 2. Pai Mei is my forgotten monk for today, the great teacher, the mentor who went unrecognized. Because his actions went unnoticed there were severe consequences.

This blog is our acknowledgment, our recognizing of overlooked actions. It is our slightest nod in return to all the forgotten monks out there. The unsung heroes from history, books, movies and TV that we can still learn from in the hopes we can avoid severe consequences.