“A good example is the best sermon.” – Benjamin Franklin
As a parent, these words strike an important note in my heart. The things I do, and the examples I set, resonate through the lives of those who observe and learn from me–primarily my children. If I tell them not to use bad words, and then use them myself, the message they get is that it is ok to speak them. If I tell them to respect others, but then turn around and show disrespect towards someone, guess what they learn.
One of the most powerful examples I set for my children is the way I treat my wife, for it is through the examples of how we treat our spouse, that our children will come to understand and form the basis of how they will treat their spouse when they grow older. Furthermore, such examples are cyclical, often passed down from generation to generation. This is one of the main causes of broken homes and abusive relationships–bad examples passed on over the years from parents to children.
Am I a good role model? Do I do the things I encourage others to do, and not do the things I tell others not to do? Do I carry myself in a way that promotes adding positively to my life and the lives of those around me? Am I an example of love, kindness, compassion, and helpfulness? Am I a man of integrity and character–having strong morals and ethics as well as putting them to use for others to see? How we relate to colleagues at workplace and friends alike.
Make a conscious decision to be a good role model to others in life. Know that if you can show even one person the positive effects of leading a good life, they will have the opportunity to learn from it and emulate it in their own life. And each life you touch, is another ripple in the stillness of the water, each ripple has the potential to stir up the entirety of the pond. You affect lives whether you know it or not. Choose to make that effect a positive one.
Make sure you teach other positive things through your examples daily.
Questions to consider:
Who are you a role model for? In what ways?
What is the message that you send to others through your examples?
Are you an encouraging force in the world, or a discouraging one?
For further thought:
“It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt