Q: What makes a good role model?
A: Someone who inspires you to be the best person you can be - in terms of your behaviour, capabilities, attitudes or all of the above. (This isn't a black and white definition by the way, it's a definition from the dictionary of Mrs Average...!)
So where do you find these people? Well, they might just be closer than you think. While we may read or watch people achieve amazing things in the newspapers or on television, this is not where I draw my personal role models from. Instead, my own cluster of role models (I'm lucky enough to have several) are among people I know...
- It's the friend who encouraged her husband to switch jobs and train for his dream career, taking on the role of main bread winner without so much as a peep (it's her husband who tells this story to others by the way, not her).
- It's the friend who is renovating a house and actively fundraising for a children's charity but who still manages to support community activities and other friends' social events.
- It's the friend who contacted me to express her sympathy after a family bereavement, despite the fact that we haven't seen one another for several years and she's overwhelmingly busy running a successful business.
- And it's the friend who, for no financial recompense, makes the time to organise jogging training for all the other neighbourhood ladies who want to get fit but who lack the confidence, experience or motivation to do so on their own.
I could go on and on but I'm sure you get the picture. If you look closely enough, you'll realise that you are most likely surrounded by amazing people who show great strength, gusto and compassion for others in the way that they approach their daily lives. (Did I mention that all of the above ladies have jobs and young children too?)
When I'm having a bad day or facing a big challenge, I think about my role models and ask myself "How would SHE react in my position?" It's a great way to stop myself going into meltdown and helps me to give myself a shake, get on with things and make better decisions.
So, to all my role models out there - thanks a million. I don't know what I'd do without you!
|Mass media isn't always the best source of inspirational role models|