When we see someone out there doing well, taking time to be an upstanding gentleman and curbing his actions to stay right when children are involved, we just smile and keep it moving. At the same time when we someone with more money than God, a large house, athletic ability and an incredible savvy for finances, we get upset at their transgressions because they are supposed to be role models.
In my opinion it is up to us as people to switch this up and stop pushing the honor of role model unto bad men in hopes that they will feel scolded and change their behavior for the better. A role model is someone who is already in motion doing things worthy of the title, not someone who your kids latch unto for want of shooting a basketball just like them.
A role model is the big brother who works 2 jobs, takes care of his drug addicted mother and younger brothers, all while keeping them out of trouble as they mature. A role model is a father who takes time to tuck his baby daughter in after a day of hell instead of ignoring her to find peace in a bottle. A role model is not the star linebacker of your favorite NFL team whose personal life is a mystery outside of the DUI that he was arrested for a few weeks back. A role model isn’t the big brother who takes his 11 yr. old sister along with him to the scummy neighborhood in order to buy weed. Do you see where I am going with this?
“A parent isn’t automatically a role model “
Role model should be a badge of honor, similar to calling someone a hero… I am not sure when we got it confused that the title is something we automatically get from being celebrity but I am here to say that it isn’t. In the days of old when a warrior would fight and sacrifice himself for his home he was called a hero. Men like Simo Hayha are seen as heroes and they weren’t branded as such until they did the amazing things that they did. A role model is a hero, so why would a person be labeled as such just for being able to hit a homerun?
When we throw the label out we should examine why it is that the person receiving it should be labeled as such. Is it about what they have or is it about what they’ve done? Role models do the right thing, uplift their community, save the day, inspire youth to be better, etc. etc. A parent isn’t automatically a role model especially when a child comes to realize that they are terrible people. Mom and dad may not be the role model but Aunt Rose the black belt just might be.
So let us make a conscious effort to reclaim the phrase that Charles Barkley killed and give it to men who have more than earned it willingly. Go up to that hero in your community and say “thank you for being such a great role model for me”, or “thank you for being a positive role model for my child”. It is like pinning a badge of honor unto the chest of that individual and acknowledging their efforts in the most positive way.
We can use this to put role models apart from buffoons with money and talent, and it is very important to make the distinction clear as glass. When was the last time you met and talked to a real role model?See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.