Many people look to someone to serve as a model or motivator for their life. They want someone to look up to, who has good values and a sense of honor and integrity. Most people choose one person to act as their ‘guiding light’ for their life, but I am slightly different. I have chosen several. No one is perfect, after all, so I have a few people whose traits or deeds I admire. I think of them often and hope to live my life in a similar way.
My first role model has been with me since I saw his bronzed shoes in a museum when I was five. The shoes belong to Terry Fox. He’s a hero to an entire nation because he raced across Canada with one artificial leg in order to raise money for cancer research. He endured horrible weather, illness, physical pain, and other extreme hardships in order to meet his goal. I admire him for what he attempted, even though he did not succeed. Terry Fox had wanted to race across Canada, but did not make it more than a third of the way. He’s famous now, but was unknown at the time, so what he did was mostly in anonymity. But he never gave up. He had a goal and he worked toward it, no matter the end result.
My second role model is my best friend Rachel. I chose her because she is close to me. She is someone I can connect with on a daily basis, and watch as she muddles through life’s daily tribulations with as much honor and respect as she can muster. Has she undergone incredible hardships in her life? No. Not really. But she lives through the politics of every day adult life trying to be honest with herself and with others, avoiding gossip and being generous with people. Every time she buys me dinner, or spends time with my young niece, I’m reminded that people can be generous and caring.
The last person I look to as a role model is myself. I find that I do not always have to look outside myself for motivation and positivity. I have endured hardships in my life. I’ve lost family members to illness and stood up to defend myself from abuse. I live with an anxiety disorder and have to continually remind myself about various calming techniques. But I still stay positive and do my best every day. I can look back at things I’ve accomplished in my life and be proud. I can look at what I’ve overcome and realize that I am strong.
Role models are important. Life can be hard, with money woes and illness dragging us down. People need tangible reminders of the fact that strength and honor can triumph in rough circumstance. They need to be aware that every day people can be generous and caring. And people need to know that they, themselves, are brave and strong.