“Each person must live his or her life as a model for others.” ~ Rosa Parks
We have been blessed with so much in life; and in that abundance, it is our duty and responsibility to use those gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, and share them lovingly in justice with others. After all, much of what we have learned has come to us through imitation, emulation, and the example of those around us, especially adults. We are each constant role models to those we encounter whether we know it or not–and whether we choose to be or not–regardless of our intentions. Children, siblings, peers, coworkers, and adults alike, all look to our behaviors and beliefs to analyze how we act in certain situations. And because most of us seldom notice how much our behavior affects those around us, it is important that we always strive to make decisions that most closely represent the character we wish to portray. <!–more–>
The problem with not noticing, however, is that we eventually start to think that our actions truly do not matter to anyone else and that they do not affect others around us at all. For this reason, many of us fall short of living up to the highest standards we have for ourselves, and fail to stand up for many of those important issues that require us to become passionately involved if we wish to make a difference. Not seeing how our behavior affects others holds us back from growing and developing ourselves into stronger and more purposeful individuals–people who make decisions and live their lives based on ideals and principles instead of basing them on expediency and personal gain.
The wonderful thing is that when we consciously live our lives as models for others, we can assure ourselves that we will live according to ideals and principals, and that we will make decisions based on them. This allows us to live our lives in line with our consciences, which keeps the peace within our hearts.
Being a role model is a huge responsibility… and we must act strongly to live up to that responsibility. Someone is always watching us, looking to us as a model of living their lives. And if we take the time to truly reflect upon what they are noticing about us, we might be surprised… we might be dismayed… we might even be embarrassed; or, perhaps we will be delighted–proud and flattered at the things they choose to imitate about us. What do I model for others? What do my children emulate most about me? The little white lies, the swearing, or the negative ways in which I treat other people, or perhaps the compassion and the selfless service I convey towards my fellow man. If we truly want to be positive role models, then we must live positive lives, for there is no room for deceiving others or ourselves.
Live your life geniunely by always ensuring your behavior matches your principles and ideals.
Questions to consider:
How easy is it to think that we are not role models for anyone else? Do people use you as a positive role model, or a negative one?
How do we make decisions when we know that others are noticing what we do versus when we think that no one notices? Do our criteria change?
Why do so many people seem to decide to be negative role models?
For further thought:
“You are in charge of your feelings, beliefs, and actions. And you teach others how to behave toward you. While you cannot change other people, you can influence them through your own behaviors and actions. By being a living role model of what you want to receive from others, you create more of what you want in your life.” ~ Eric Allenbaugh