THE CRITICAL & TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF ROLE MODELS
“Role models are critical and fundamental requisites for every successful and thriving home, neighborhood, city, nation, and society as a whole. They are simply indispensable!” Dr Sylvia Forchap-Likambi
Who do you turn to in times of trials and challenges or even to learn a new skill/ habit you find challenging? Who do you turn to when you need to get fit or succeed in life? Who do you seek advice/ counsel and/ or guidance from on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis, especially in those challenging moments of life? We must be conscious, deliberate, and selective about who we turn to in such moments of life! We cannot just turn to the next available person or friend by us, simply because they are there for us. Many people have been misled in life and gave up all hope because of the people they listen/ talk to and take counsel/ guidance from.
One of the best categories of people/experts/ professionals to ask guidance and support from are role models and mentors. This is so because more often than not, role models have been through a /similar life situation/s and succeeded/ triumphed. Hence, they represent authentic testimonials that victory is possible and near and such challenges/ aspirations can be overcome/ achieved by all who desire—since they, too, are mere humans, full of limitations as well as strengths (just like you and me). They represent genuine testimonials and examples that could be used to support and guide us towards the solution we seek/ success and victory. The simple fact is if they were once able to overcome that which to you and me may seem to be stumbling blocks, challenging, or even life-threatening, then there is good news and hope for you/ me—that you/ I, too, can overcome and thrive! Hence, we should not be discouraged, neither should we be disappointed, sad, or depressed—there is still hope for us. Hope of a successful ending, hope of a grand finale. Hope that you and I, too, can, someday soon, overcome and thrive…
Our society is currently lacking sufficient role models for our children and all its citizens, or not showcasing enough of them in our media/ televisions and daily lives. Today’s children and youths are constantly going astray because of what/ who they see as the “norm” and “model” and/ or who they talk/ listen to and take counsel/ guidance from. Many young boys in a world where fathers are either walking away or continuously being pushed out of their lives and replaced, have no fatherly figures/ authentic role models to look up to!
Role models are there to hold our hands and walk with us. They are there to guide us/ our children and youths through a similar path to that which they have been through or have in-depth knowledge about and to help us climb some of the stiff and rocky mountains of life or go through some of the long and narrow dark tunnels of life. Other times, they are at the top of the mountains or at the exit of the tunnels, lending their hands out to us and waiting for us to join them—hence showing you/ I that it is very possible to get to the top of the mountain, or to the end of the dark and narrow tunnel where there is light, despite all odds. Sometimes, they might even come down to meet us at our place and point of need because they are very familiar with the path or pathways that lead to the top of almost every mountain we may ever climb or to the end of every dark tunnel. They have walked the path – at times, not once, not twice, not thrice, but on numerous occasions – and are very confident in walking the path again—only this time with you and me!
Consequently, they are there to hold our hands and walk with us throughout the entire journey and pathway that leads to the top of the rocky mountain or to the end and exit of the long, narrow, and dark tunnel. They are there to show us the way and to ensure that we do not waste so much time and/or resources or make similar mistakes they or others have made in the past and, as a result, enable us to get there faster than they did or on time. They are there to show you and I the best way/direction that will take us down the most effective pathway that leads to victory. They are there to inspire and motivate us to take action, keep going, stay on track, and encourage/support us to always have our eyes fixed on the finish line, which in this case is the top of the mountain or the end of the tunnel—where there is victory. There they stand, patiently watching and waiting to celebrate our victory and rejoice with us.
Today, I encourage and inspire you to become a model not only to your loved ones but also to those children out there who are lost or have no role model in their immediate vicinity to look up too! Today, I challenge us all to critically analyse and evaluate our lives and do an honest self-assessment. Are we genuine role models at our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, city, or world? What message are we passing on to our children, loved ones, friends, colleagues, and fellow humans? Most importantly, what examples are we creating/ portraying with every single day and opportunity we are given the privilege to live, serve, and lead?
We all must be the role models our children and youth/ world need! We all must live life selflessly, knowing that every action of ours is either positively or negatively impacting our children/ environment/ society and the next generation of leaders.
To your greatness and success!