What makes a good role model? That, of course, is the question I asked in the title. I think it is a really difficult question. Often times, the answer depends upon the same thing that beauty depends on – “it’s in the eyes of the beholder.” At least, as I begin this writing for learning exercise, that is the only reasonable statement I can make.
Consider some of our celebrated athletes like Albert Pujols, Sarena Williams, Tiger Woods, Marion Jones, Brett Favre, Cheryl Miller, LeBron James, Danica Patrickand Rafael Nadal. Six out of nine of the athletes, listed in the previous sentence, have their own websites dedicated to promoting themselves. Should we use their websites to determine if they are good role models? I wonder why I couldn’t find a website dedicated to promoting Albert Pujols. Oh, there are many sites about Pujols, but none are dedicated to promoting him as a great baseball player AND with him in control of what’s on the site. At least, I couldn’t find any. Why do some promote themselves and others do not?
Does a good role model need to promote her/himself? Ideally, I would answer NO! Of course, ideally isn’t always reality. I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with someone promoting her/himself. It just seems to me that if you are worthy of being a role model, you wouldn’t, or at least shouldn’t, have to promote yourself.
You see, I think good role models live in ways that help us see the way(s) we would like to live our lives. They serve as mental images of how we would like and/or want to be. A website can help, but I think a better role model is one who you can actually interact with. Someone who you can ask questions and observe, in person, the way to live a good life. Someone who can show you actual possibilities for living your life.
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