Wow, that term gets thrown around a lot.
According to the Merriam Webster on-line dictionary, a role model is defined as “someone who another person admires and tries to be like”.
Where the line gets blurred, for me, between being a good role model and being a really great ‘inspiration’.
For example, take a look at some of the professional athletes who get worshiped by kids.
While they may hit home runs at will and excel in all phases of the game, some of them (being imperfect human beings as we all are) let their arrogance cause them to act in ways detrimental to the game on and off the field…and kids unfortunately pick up those things as well.
The first time I saw video of a Little Leaguer standing and watching his batted ball go over the fence instead of running to first base, I heard my Dad’s voice (he was my first coach) yelling “You hustle…out…EVERY…hit!”
Professional athletes, celebrities, rock stars (and anyone who excels in his or her field, actually) are certainly inspirational and bar-raising…but there are a precious few whom I’d actually consider to be role models.
Here are 5 of my current favorite inspirations from the Rio Olympics:
Are they good role models?
I hope so.
They’ve each just done something nobody has ever done before, and I hope they bring that energy back to their home countries and inspire the next generation of Olympians.
Even better, I hope they live their lives as role models of fair competition, respect, compassion, solid work ethic and more.
Am I a good role model?
I certainly fall short of perfect.
Are there parts of my life which people have told me were inspirational to them?
I am honored to answer that question in the affirmative.
It makes me happy that *I* picked good role models and inspiring people to emulate.
Wherever you are, and whatever you do in this world, I sincerely hope you are doing your best to find your inspirations and to seek out role models who not only inspire, but walk the talk of a true champion in the game of life.
And don’t forget to *be* one yourself, as best you can.
You never know who is out there today, desperately in need of a new hero, some inspiration…or maybe even a role model.