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Role Models Are Necessary, But Choose Carefully

Having a role model in life is important. Role models are reflections of the values we like to imbibe in us. Values such as commitment, integrity, hard work, ethics and leadership skills are some attributes that are most admirable in human beings.

But, quite often people are impressed, and unfortunately inspired, by cosmetic values. Values such as fame, money, influence, gaudiness and even mere success are some attributes that attract people. These are traits that attract a person during the formative years, but with maturity, conception of value changes, and with it, changes the ones we admire. The problem arises when even with age, the role models remain unchanged. In adolescent years, it is common to look up to movie stars, singers or athletes, but with age it has to change. Now, there is no problem idolizing movie stars, singers or athletes, but unfortunately our views are myopic. We are inspired by what we see on screen or on the field. The role of a role model goes beyond the perceptible. Let’s take the example of athletes. At the height of their fame they are invincible, but what if new information reveals their unethical activities and infidel nature. Should they still be idolized? Are they role model material? Again, the intention here is not to cast aspersions on any one or any profession, but to understand that role models should be chosen carefully as they are a reflection of our own values or the values we like to learn and imbibe. There are some brilliant actors and athletes who inspire millions, and rightfully so.

And digitization has made things worse. Social media yet again presents only a one-dimensional aspect of a person. What we see on screen is not always what is real. A young mind is also impressionable to politicians, religious leaders and goons. Honey tongued politicians and god men are able to cajole people into perceiving them as messiahs. There are so many red flags when it comes to choosing a role model. So, how should we choose a role model? Or is it necessary to have a role model?

Good, positive role models are important to help us realize our true potential. When we aspire, we strive to accomplish. They help us learn and develop.

A role model should not be chosen on a whim, rather they should be studied or analyzed before idolizing. Read about them, read what they have written, watch their interviews, hear what is been said about them, gauge their success as well as failure; and then rationalize on the data you have and then make a conscious choice. And while you are choosing a role model, will you choose one similar to or different from you? Well, it is always good to choose someone who is different from you because it will then help you learn and perfect characteristics amiss in you.

And remember, role models are just there to inspire and motivate you, at the end, you should just become the best version of you.

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