I'm sure at some time or another, you've heard a person say, "Don't look up to me, I'm nobody's role model!" And normally you probably didn't give this a second thought and went on about your day, as anyone would do, right?
I've heard celebrities make this statement, as well as people who aren't famous and it got me to thinking, are they correct? Within reason, there are a certain amount of things we do that are just in us, and it's not anything you can do about it. You know, that strong DNA that programs us with what makes us so unique, and then there's another side of that wherein you do things based on what you've seen and who brought you up.
To say you aren't anyone's role model is a travesty of justice of sorts. I've met total strangers who have made an impact on my life whether they knew it or not. It's something in the way they carried themselves, how they conducted their behavoir or something they said that made me feel this is a person who has it going on and got their stuff together, and I admire what they are doing. In actuality they were being a role model whether that was their intention or not.
Everything you do, somewhere or somehow someone sees it. Sure, there are secrets that every human has that will, most likely than not, end up in the grave with them, but for the most part, there are those of us who are watching. And by watching, whether the one being observed is aware of it, you are paving the way as a role model to someone else.
There will be times in your life where you are leading by example, and then there are times where you will be observing. Each time this happens, you take away a little piece of what you learn by what you see, which in turn, is what makes up you. If you grew up in a household where abuse was all you saw, nine times out of ten, that's what you will end up doing, or you will associate yourself around those that do it, because that's who your role models were. Of course, every situation is different, and doesn't necessarily mean you will turn out that way, but the seed has been planted, and only time will tell just how deep the seed was rooted.
You may be one of the fortunate people who grew up in a relatively decent household, with a two-parent family and siblings, and although you may have had very strong role models to take your cue from, it doesn't necessarily mean you will turn out like them, because sometimes people want to rebel. Even if that were the case, you know deep down you were given the proper upbringing, and that may give you a conscious to do the right things.
The tricky part of observing others as a way for you to learn is when you learn these things by watching celebrities on TV or on the silverscreen. You hear about the Tweets they send out, and the beefs these music moguls get into and many young impressionable minds look up to this sort of thing. Those entertainers may say, matter-of-factly, that they aren't a role model for children, but the fact of the matter is, they most certainly are.
It's important to project the right image that best showcases your personality to the world--to let us know who you are and what you're about. But it's an entirely different matter when you are doing certain things for money and projecting a certain image because your agent feels it will be best suited for your career or your record company feels it will sell records. When you see celebrities behaving poorly, that's not necessarily the real personality you are seeing. It's make-believe, but unfortunately, young people don't know the difference. However, having said that, if the child's parents did a good job in their roles and leading by example, usually the child will be able to make up its own mind what is right and what is wrong.
It really bothers me when I hear people say they aren't a role model because YOU are! Every single one of us are role models for someone at some point in our lives. What you do does carry a heavy impact on the way others view you and how they view themselves. And when you project a negative image of yourself, the society in which we have today is the end result. This goes back to my last weekend's post about a Rude Society. For the most part, everything you have learned thus far, you learned it by watching someone else. If all you see are negative images, guess what will happen to that young impressionable mind viewing that? And some parents have the audacity to wonder why their children turned out the way they did. Look no further than your child's first role model--YOU!
Lord help the child that has the street as its role model. That in and of itself is a terrifying thought, but the streets and TV raise up our children each and everyday, and no one seems to see anything wrong with this, but yet, there are those of us who say we're nobody's role model. To hell if we aren't!
How many of you have had a person that you didn't know come up to you and say "I've been watching you at various times and I like the way you dress and the way you carry yourself. It's refreshing to see." I have had strangers say this to me. I don't know these people, but they have seen me out and about and felt the need to let me know. You see what I mean when I say you are a role model. Maybe I helped that individual in some small way and not even realize that I had. Here I am going on about my day and conducting my business, and to have someone say that it's refreshing to see how I carry myself, not only did that make me feel good, but it made me appreciate my mother and her work in raising me. That compliment goes to her credit, not mine!
So you see, when it's all said and done, each of us is a role model whether you want that tag added to you or not. You may think you're going about your life just doing you, and not even realize that there are people watching, observing and viewing your actions. You just never know when it could happen or when it will strike, but what you do, others do take notice, and that's whether you're projecting a positive or negative image. There is someone looking up to you, and you should never forget that.
What you say and do to others is a testament of yourself and your upbringing. If you've ever had people say to you they know your mother, father or your grandmother or grandfather, or I know your people and you're so and so's daughter or son, it's that role model coming through. This is why it would be in everyone's best interest to try and do the right thing because you never know who's watching you.
Being a role model is a tough job and we've all got to do it. So what image are you projecting to the world? Perhaps some of you need to look in the mirror again because your image is a little out of focus and may need some readjustment!
|Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet|