Where Is My Daddy

Black Mother and Son

Role Model

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

  1. Someone worthy of imitation

“every child needs a role model”

  1. 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.”

The Messenger Sun Graffiti 2-21-16

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