Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Role Models

In these times, "role models" are all over the place. From high profile politicians to high paid athletes to 'oh-my-gawd-are-they-really-getting-famous' D-List reality stars, we find them in our lives on a daily basis. They're on our TVs, magazines, internet, phones. They're everywhere!
I'm sure some of you remember that famous Nike commercial with Charles Barkley, where he says that he isn't a role model. In a sense, he was right. He shouldn't be a role model to kids, their parents should be. That's what I thought when I first saw that commercial at a young age.
But I just heard an interview with Andre Agassi on The Dan Patrick Show this morning and it made me think of the role model and who we look up to, not only as a kid but also today. Andre has made headlines recently because of his new book Open, where he reveals that he used crystal meth when he was a tennis player. In the interview, Andre said that role models shouldn't only teach you what you should do but also teach you what you shouldn't do. That totally hit home for me.
It reminded me of my eulogy for my grandfather. In it, I said, He taught me to be the man that I want to be / And the man that I didn't want to be. My grandfather was a great man but he sure was old-school. He was a gentle and personable man, but he was also hard-headed and had a temper. There is good and bad in everyone, but it is our responsiblity to take in their good and learn from their bad. That's how we should look up to our role models.
Looking up to those that we admire, we can't only look at what makes them great, but also what makes them normal.

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