Who is role model material you may ask and you are not alone. Far too many times when this question is asked, especially by Black folk, they are looking at celebrities, athletes and other high-profile people. These high-profile people are only known from a distance and all you know is what you see. And that is certainly not enough. They could go off the rail at any time and the structure of the role model relationship would come tumbling down.
You don’t have to do all of that, the answer is, anyone can be a role model to someone. It is in the eye of the child and yes we are talking about children and role models. There are many young teenagers and adults who are in need of someone—anyone—to look up to as well. A person they would like to model themselves after. And they do seek them out; unfortunately, with disastrous results for some.
These are desperate people and many have tried in various ways to address this emptiness that they feel. Need I say that desperation can and does bring on poor decision-making. But, they just believe that if they only had someone to admire, someone to respect and for way too many, someone to worship they would feel better. The age of a person does not preclude them from needing any of this. If you think you need it, you likely do.
You often hear it said that certain entertainers and athletes do not make good role models because of their behavior—that is not how it works. Neither they nor do we decide if we are the one who will be chosen. Even the worse of the worst has someone who thinks they are worthy of admiration.
The question to follow would naturally be, what can I do about this, what influence do I have if my child is attracted to a less than desirable person to look up to. And the answer is, be a parent to your child. And, of course, the most important question of all is, what kind of parent are you. Are you the kind of person who would set a good example for your child or would he or she be better off looking to others for what is not being offered at home. Do not be missing in action (MIA) and then want to know when things go wrong, what happened.
When I was searching for a role model the only person that I had to look up to was my uncle who passed when I needed him most. I did not have parents that I knew very well and had lived with my aunt and Uncle from when I was a small child; somewhere around two years of age. So it would seem, and it was certainly true, that I badly needed someone to hold on to.
I searched and searched always looking in the wrong places. This one is acting the way I am feeling so he will do. I just needed a male figure to look up to. I looked first at the good and then the not so good. It was not a good place to be.
Noun: role model
- Someone worthy of imitation
“every child needs a role model”
- A person looked to by others as an example to be imitated
The term role model generally means “any person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others.”
Good Bad or Something Else
Good cannot come from bad, just as a positive cannot come from a negative. Neither can bad come from good or a negative from a positive. Either one can; however, come before or after the other.
We often hear it said, “at least some good came from it.” Take a lemon (a negative outcome) and make lemonade.” But in truth, they merely serve to delude one into accepting defeat or loss. You may even believe these sayings to be inspirational and relief from a not so good outcome. But the good came after the bad, not from it. That doesn’t happen.
Each thing stands on its own. With lemonade, you still have the lemon as your main ingredient and you have to add a great deal of sugar to mask the bitter taste just to drink it. And you know about too much sugar. You would not have separated yourself from the negative outcome and it would be felt no matter what is done to cover it up. It would not be good; though, on the surface, it might seem that way for a while because of the “sweet” taste. Whatever it has become will collapse under its own weight. You cannot make a healthy brew from a negative.
If a bad thing occurs, it will not be made better by good that comes along at a latter time. There is not a thing that can change the bad into good. It is the same when there is a good thing that happens. A bad thing later does not change that good. How you think is the only thing that can change. And, of course, how you think is how you will feel. Most of the not so good things that happen to you are caused by you and it is how you think that does it. How you think is how you will act.