Do role models exist?

I overheard a conversation of a woman saying how her child took a turn for the worse because there are no more role models & heroes in the world. My first thought was, “well, wtf is wrong with you being your kids role model” then I had to think, do we not have role models?

Often times people use role models as an example of what one can do with their lives, sets the bar, so to speak. Here’s the issue with that, why let someone else’s life be the determining factor for yours (or your child’s) why just set a limit on what you can do? Shouldn’t the objective to be to surpass that point? (although I know some of you are really content being C students)  Anyone can inspire a child to achieve their potential in life. ANY ONE. 

Is “role model” a more apt word for the figures we’d like our children to look up to and take an interest in? How about “inspiration”? Or just “interesting person”? The thing about a role model in any light- they’re honest. If your kid sees the top drug dealer living a life thats appealing and begins to imitate is that not a role model? That dealer is gonna tell your kid straight up what he does and how to get it.

Here’s my thing with wanting your kid to have a role model and be like  that other person, you’re leaving room for another person to raise your freakin kid! So if your kid turns out to be something you don’t care for, ask what influences they had to inspire those actions.

Some people have a gift they want to share and they want to be a role model, others just live their life their way and a kid takes a liking to it and wants the same, they didn’t ask to be anyone’s role model, but since thats what a kid saw the options become limited, and that kid decided to follow.

“If your kid needs a role model and you ain’t it, you’re both fucked.” – George Carlin 

In other words, you can be an active factor in how your kid turns out, or accept how another person ends up raising them. So many parents are so busy ‘making a living’ they forget to make a life. No, role-models aren’t always positive, law abiding, upstanding citizens, however if its appealing, it becomes good enough and a reality of your surroundings. Its hard to look up to something you don’t know exists.

Advertisements

7 Comments

Add yours →

  1. People, heavily African Americans, rely on role models because it is how things have always been. What people fail to realize is the same vision and goals expressed by those role models were being stressed in the household as well. So in a sense the parent guided that influence of role models. Today we are so removed from the thought of parenting and family that as long as it keeps a child from bugging them all day the parent is okay with it. Drug dealers were looked up to back in the day, not because of the fancy clothes and cars but because they were able to provide for their families in a society that could care less if they ate or starved to death.Role defines a character assigned or assumed, it is also a socially expected behavior pattern usually determined by an individual’s status in a particular society.

    Ironically, I had this same debate on facebook over President Obama saying “Beyonce could not be a better role model for my girls because she carries herself with such class and poise.” -B. Hussein Obama….As I expressed to them, its all about what you allow your kids to be exposed to and which roles they actually model. Time and time again we go to work and put on this other face for work while thinking if only they really knew who I was and not the work me. What makes her any different. Parents control this not television and celebrities. If your child has an interest in Beyonce or anyone for that matter why not ask them what about them appeals to them. It is the parent that molds how a child sees and interprets worldly things.

    • Interesting comments…I can’t say I agree with President Obama about his comment regarding Beyonce being a role model for his girls or any girls for that matter..I totally feel his WIFE, First Lady Michelle Obama, is the perfect role model for his girls or any girls..But that is another long topic for a time when I’ve got time to explain further..One more thing though..A quick question..You mentioned drug dealers used to be looked up to backintheday..Who ever looked up to drug dealers? Are you referring to Black Americans ? Or just other folks who were in the drug dealing circles? Just curious…I might have misinterpreted what I read.

      • Berna, I think she meant back then the Black American Community, not because they sold drugs, but the money earned was used to keep a household fed and they did things for those in the community that could not do for themselves.
        I think its hard to pick rather either of those ladies are good role models, in my opinion simply because as being in the public eye, you see and “get to know” what has been scripted, edited and formatted for the image they want portrayed. I don’t KNOW either of those ladies, I have no idea how Michelle is behind the White House doors no more than I know Beyonce when she’s not playing on my radio. Role models are depicted based off of an image- which could be false.

      • @..” Role models are depicted based off of an image- which could be false…” >>Sometimes they’re based on an image..Not always..Both President & First Lady Michelle instantly became role models for thousands and thousands of Black children..Whether they wanted to be or not..And I think they both know that too..I could get deeper into that; but I won’t right now. I look at role models based on many things; specifically what they DO to help others..It is my belief that we weren’t meant to just exist and not “serve” others in a positive and progressive manner..But that is my Christian background speaking out; and it is how I was raised..First Lady Michelle is a very , very educated lawyer & writer..I’m so big on education for our youth, that is something I hold in high regard..But her service to others began long before she became First Lady and started such massive ventures as the Let’s Move program to work against childhood obesity..In between and long before that she was also Executive Director for a non-profit organization that encouraged youth to work towards social issues in non-profit org’s.Another major deed she did, that I’m not sure how many other women would do , is cut down to part-time her full time salary of upwards of $250,000 a yr while employed by Univ of Chicago’s hospitals to spend more time with their daughters..Mind you at the time her husband was making far less from the U.S. Senate(about $150,000) I do, by the way, know people that personally know the Obama’s personally..She is pretty much what she appears to be in the public behind closed doors..I missed meeting her in person by about a breath of a moment..But the source I know is highly reliable…I don’t think it was by accident Barack Obama chose & married the type of woman he did to later bear & co-raise his daughters..Somehow I just can’t see that he’d have ever been in a position to do the same with Beyonce or anyone with her lifestyle..Let that sink in for a minute..

        As for the comment about the drug dealers being looked up to..I figured that was exactly what she was inferring to..Just wanted it confirmed..On the other hand, I never felt that way at all. I saw/see it the complete opposite..Black drug dealers selling drugs, especially crack, in Black neighborhoods had /has a terrible impact on Black America ..Terrible! Far too many have died or become lifelong addicts, or wound up behind bars and for me personally I think it hurts knowing that it was at the hands of Black drug dealers..Bad money can never be made into good money…Or least that is how I see it.

        On both of these counts I think its a matter of perspective..And ours differ on this one .Happens. But I did as always enjoy the interaction…

    • But why has it always been that way? It wasn’t always that way, someone at some point had to decide that, there’s a starting point somewhere. I TOTALLY disagree (sorry) that the same vision and goal expressed by role models are expressed by the household, if a parent isn’t around how are those things expressed. I think it SHOULD be, so the two worlds are on one accord, but I know many many many people who, in their house its one thing, and a person looks to a role model total opposite. If a mother wants a child to grow up and be a doctor, lawyer but the expressed vision from the role model is drugs, rapping or simply ‘try to live another day’ thats a bit different. The difference now versus then is just that, the drug dealer was the ultimate provider, times have changed. Today’s dealer isn’t like back then so kids today don’t admire the role model of past time.
      I think in cases like Beyonce, Mr. President may know her as a whole on a personal level, not just what we are allowed to see of her life from the media. A parent can not control what is on television but they can control THE television, don’t want your kid to see it under your roof- turn it off, my mom did. I definitely agree a parent has a huge role in influencing how these role models can be viewed, but so many parents now days don’t take the time to really learn what interest their kid its hard, parent either dont care, don’t know themselves, or are too busy simply TELLING their kid how to live.

  2. @..”Here’s my thing with wanting your kid to have a role model and be like that other person, you’re leaving room for another person to raise your freakin kid! So if your kid turns out to be something you don’t care for, ask what influences they had to inspire those actions…”>> YOU said more than a mouthful right there! In my humble or not so humble opinion; I feel parents should BE their childrens’ first role models and heroe/heroines. I think that is the way its supposed to be by design…Having said that though; we all know that isn’t always the case. Some parents just don’t get IT. Still other parents fall short due to crippling addictions..But it is sad to hear a conversation , as you heard, with women complaining there aren’t ANY role models for their children to emulate. Saddest part is that those parents have NO clue that comment speaks volumes about them immediately…Oddly or ironically enough I’ve had dialogue about this topic alot; and actually just last week with a very good girlfriend..Before I go further I’m not accusing anyone of being a bad parent..I’m not perfect my dang self; which means I wasn’t a perfect parent. BUT not once did I ever ‘eva blame anyone else for my sons behavior..Nor did I hold ANYone else accountable for it either…We’re living in a world now though, my friend, where the old norms have been over-ridden with new norms..Folks have it twisted badly…

    A great majority of parents these days, or so it appears, blame teachers for their children’s learning shortcomings..They hold teachers responsible for all of their childrens educational needs; as IF it is the sole responsiblity of teachers to teach THEIR children. I’m sorry but I am horrified when I listen to folks make such comments & with a straight face. Are you kidding me??? Those parents seem to have forgotten, or worse may not know, parents ARE rightfully the 1st teacher of their children. Period. It is the parents responsiblity to make sure their children get the education they deserve..Their SOLE responsiblity as the 2 folks who brought said child into the world. Everyone else, including teachers, is to assist parents in reaching that goal. I may have been young & dumb when I first became a mother; but I knew(from being taught by my parents) to have taught our sons basic things before they even went to kindergarten. Like the alphabet, how to read, how to write, how to behave in a classroom, etc…I didn’t just dump said sons off at Kinder and expect a teacher(a stranger..) to teach our sons the basics…However, there are parents who do just that. And then wonder why or are outraged when their child is behind students whose parents DID. The nerve..but it happens every day. There are stats to prove a child performs better in school when parent(s); are involved in their educational career. And that starts from the beginning…Everything begins at home. Everything..

    @”“If your kid needs a role model and you ain’t it, you’re both fucked.” – George Carlin “>> George Carlin always kept it real. (is he still alive? ) And this comment is about as real as it gets…

    Excellent topic choice my younger beautiful Sista..Keep spreading the message

    • “They hold teachers responsible for all of their childrens educational needs; as IF it is the sole responsiblity of teachers to teach THEIR children. I’m sorry but I am horrified when I listen to folks make such comments & with a straight face. Are you kidding me??? Those parents seem to have forgotten, or worse may not know, parents ARE rightfully the 1st teacher of their children. Period. It is the parents responsiblity to make sure their children get the education they deserve..Their SOLE responsiblity as the 2 folks who brought said child into the world. Everyone else, including teachers, is to assist parents in reaching that goal” <<<YESSSSS, couldn't have said it better myself. A lot of parents I hear say, "well you're the teacher, you're suppose to TEACH" forgetting they are the PARENT who should teach, be the counselor, referee, doctor, and the list goes on and on. The expectations of parenting (hate to put it like this) but had severely gone down.

      And no, George passed in 2008

Get in on the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: