When I was a good deal younger, I can’t recall having much of anyone other than my father as a role model.
As much of a pill as my daddy was to deal with a lot of the time, I knew no other man who was as dedicated to truth and honor as he was.
He and my mother worked for my entire childhood, to be sure we had the things we needed to survive. When I say “we,” I should make it clear that for a large portion of the years in question, that would’ve included, himself, my mother, and five children.
I suppose in her own way, my mother was more of a person to look up to than she seemed at that time, in fact, in some ways probably more so than my dad. Instead, she contented herself with living in daddy’s shadow, and making sure we learned invaluable lessons that even my father really never taught me.
That said, she didn’t gain that status until much later in my life. When she got there, I realized that she’d been as much or more of an influence on my young existence, than my father. You should know, that’s really saying something.
When I began to pick up other mentors (mostly people I never met, since I was seldom impressed or overawed by the folks I knew firsthand), almost all of those on the list excepting Jesus called Christ, were men that many wouldn’t have listed, had they known them.
In my young adulthood, it would’ve been people like Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking.
As I matured though, I suddenly began to realize something. Where the people I admired and looked up to were rightly considered great men, there were others I decided were more significant to me.
Again, unless you happen to be a conservative, and a little older, the chances are, where you would recognize some of the names, you probably wouldn’t count them among those who were on a similar list for you.
I came to realize that Rush Limbaugh seemed to be often wrong in how he got where he got, but was almost always on the mark when he finished up a thought.
Over time there’ve been others—people like Dr Thomas Sowell come to mind—they’ve been a diverse group in many regards. In others, they’ve been very similar.
I got thinking though, most folks don’t seem to have a good picture of what a real, meaningful role model ought to look like.
To say that someone should be considered a person after which one ought to mold oneself, should be no small thing.
To begin with, the person in question should be one who’s been around for long enough to have suffered adversity—to have had to deal with hardship.
If you’re not acutely aware they’ve lived through hard times, you can be sure there’s at least a possibility, they’ve never tasted life to the degree you’re likely to have done or to do.
It doesn’t take a great man to live through a few years of smooth sailing, and frankly, most would look good if they never had to deal with tough times.
Besides that, it’s a reality that tough times forge good people. If, therefor, a person’s never encountered difficulty, there’s a question as to whether they’ve truly internalized the things a person having done so and come out the other side must’ve had to deal with.
Such a person should be positive. He or she should help us to understand that it’s difficult or impossible to reach great heights without having strong hope based on faith.
They must be intelligent, but that doesn’t mean they need to have finished some level of schooling. I know of people who never made it through high school—some even lower grades than that—who nonetheless are wonderfully wise and able people.
One of the things I think a lot of folks forget when searching for people to look up to, is that such individuals ought to be good. I don’t mean to say they should be good at something, though it’s nice if they are. Rather they should be good people. If you’re in a position to meet them, and to introduce them to others, there should be no issue doing so on the basis the person can and will be counted good.
I suppose there are any number of attributes that should be considered desirable for those in question, but certain things should probably be on the top of the proverbial list. Among them is patience. For the most part, someone after whom one takes, ought generally not be rash or impulsive.
That’s not to say the person shouldn’t be one of action, that’s another thing that likely should be on the list. Words are fine things, actions are better ones in most instances. That said, an individual up to whom one looks, ought not act in ways that’re careless. Rather, where possible, their actions should be considered, measured.
Another attribute they should probably possess, is selflessness. I’m not saying the candidate shouldn’t ever think of him or her self, just that they should think of others as well.
I see so many people looking to folks for guidance who’re likely not great examples, and it concerns me.
Think for a moment, about the people you aspire to be like. Are they exceptional, kind, selfless, patient, good, persons of thoughtful action and strong experience? If they’re not, you might want to seriously reconsider what you’re setting yourself up for in emulating them.
It’s not so easy being the kind of person others won’t be let down by, assuming they try to follow in their footsteps. You’d be surprised how many choose people not worthy of their admiration, much less their allegiance. If you can’t imagine yourself being happy to be like that person as they are in later life, perhaps they aren’t someone you ought to count a role model.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.