Who Are The Role Models For Our Kids Now?
Our kids are our most treasured assets. And they need role models. But have you noticed that these days in our culture, that role model, the term rather a joke in the media? I think it is no secret that a parent basically does not see Miley Cyrus as a good role model for their kids. It takes extraordinary people to be able to shape and mold the young minds and personalities of the youth we see as virtually our own. In a way, they almost are our own. Obviously, they are not. Maybe we secretly like to think that we’d like the “Good Ones” to be our own. The kids who have somehow learned to be mature and responsible and teenagers who manage to defy the odds and develop the right attitude to life and everything. There is a gulf between expectations and the true reality when it comes to role models for our children.
But are we talking about what kids can do, and what they have – or are we just aspiring towards those qualities, and not our kids Per Se? We seem to want our kids to have the skills and qualities qualities that will enable them to become upright well-adjusted adults. But those qualities must come from somewhere. The question is – where? And where are the good role models for our kids? Are we those role models? Or are we lost in a useless dream, or stuck in some fairytale world of false expectations?
Is Steven Seagal a good role model for our sons? He puts all the wrongs of the world right, somehow. Yeah, I’m a big fan, like most. But is this real? Do our kids need to learn Aikido? Beating up the bad guys isn’t exactly what being a good role model is all about. Sigourney Weaver might be a good role model for girls under similar rules here. But is that a real role model? I have a cousin and he has a seven year old kid who has this amazing desire to be a policeman when he grows up. Where did he ever get that idea?
There are no police in his side of the family, (only mine, apparently) and yet, even his parents say they can see it happening. He just seems to be a very responsible kid, with an unusual wisdom about him. Another family I know have a clever daughter who wants to be a school teacher when she finishes school. She is a teenager and has impressive grades. But yet she feels that teaching others is the number one thing she wants to do in the whole world. She has no idea what a teacher gets for salary. That’s what both those kids have in common. They Love To Learn.
Some dreams and ambitions have a peculiar blindness to them, an indifference or naïve tendency. And yet it seems to make the dream stronger or more real somehow.
Would you rather force feed your kids Mozart from age four upwards, have them read all the classics before age ten, do we expose our kids to financial decisions from an early age, or would you rather just let them find them naturally of their own accord? role models are everywhere. We can be inspired by following great leaders and writers and artists. People who change things for the better - they are a great place to start. Try books by Napoleon Hill, Guy Kawasaki, the problem solving genius that was Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak or people like Richard Feynman. Open up people's minds to the healing nurturing possibilities of the cinematic genius and pioneers of Visual Arts like George Lucas, James Cameron or Steven Spielberg. All the people mentioned in this hub have one thing in common. Do you know what it is?
What about the child who wants to be the next Richard Branson? Or Donald Trump? Or Bill Gates or the next Steve Jobs? What about that girl who dreams of being a successful Brain Surgeon? Maybe she excels at Mathematics or Creative Writing and sees herself as a successful Scientist, Technician, Inventor, Programmer or Published Author or Poet?
Or what the child or teen who wants to be a successful model, who wears lovely clothes or whatever for a living? Or that teen daughter who wants to act on the Stage or in Movies? Aren't there kids like that? How can we get our kids to end up loving the things that are good for them and then going out into the world and making a difference?
What makes people become successful entrepreneurs? What can a parent do that can enable those teenagers we have to become successful individuals? How do role models help?
Standing Out From The crowd
What do all the successful people in the world have that makes them what they are? And how can we, as responsible and concerned adults imbue these amazing kids to have those same qualities?
Let’s face it, some human beings are born with a talent or a gifted. They display some kind of ability from an early age, and everyone just knows they are gonna go far in life some day. The model Lyndsey Scott is one example.
While still in her teens and to void bullying by other school kids, for being a bit of a geek (she taught herself how to program with a TI-89 calculator), Lyndsey found a retreat into an area that made her very successful - she taught herself how to program. She learned how to code, how to create software and apps with java, C++, Python and Objective C.
Now after studying computer Science and attending Amherst, she is a successful Afro-American supermodel with a surprising humility, who models on the catwalk by day and programs apps for the iPhone and iPad platforms in her other time. She created the "Educate" and "iPort" apps for the iOS platform. Check out her funny promo video for iPort. (Her wig falls off at the end of it.)
Her Educate! app enables children in Uganda to find sponsors and become entrepreneurs, while iPort enables models and people in the fashion or arts world to present and show their work on an iPad.
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs
The role models we all look for can be found if we just look around and look hard enough. In Robert T. Kawasaki's case, having started and failed at business ventures, and facing defeat and obstacles, he was inspired and penned a serious bestseller with his book "Rich Dad Poor Dad". In the book, he cites examples of amazing wisdom he received from his rich Dad, a successful business role model, a best friend who was an 8th grade school drop out who became a millionaire. It was that sage wisdom helped Kawasaki overcome many hurdles and find success in life. He mentions how failure has different effects on people, depending on their personality. Failure defeats losers, but failure can inspire winners." Kyosaki's wisdom is worth remembering.
Steve Jobs, the genius boss and co-founder of Apple and later Pixar Studios, would know all about this. During the 1990s, when he was reinstated as CEO there for a second period in his life (having previously co-founded the company Apple and having being fired from it) agreed to act as interim CEO with no salary on condition that Apple would only give him a salary and permanent CEO status provided he turned around the companies fortunes. He imagined a computer like none before it, and he gave us the Apple iMac. He turned around the company's fortunes, and also created the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, and the more recent iPad. He was and still is a Visionary, never to be forgotten. Who was his role model? You'd have to read his story to find out...
Steve Jobs would never do anything as mad as that unless he had a burning passion and a belief for what he did. He was right out there on the edge, making stuff happen. Steve Jobs is a role model if ever there was one. Many credit Jobs with reinventing the modern music, entertainment, mobile phone, tablet PC and app software industries with Apple and other products and brands that have changed the world and how we live.
I have a life rule for you here. When TWO people show you two different ways of doing the exact same thing, you will discover a third way. That will be your way, which will consist of the best traits and aspects of both their systems of work. That third way can be all the difference. Many of us never get beyond having one mentor / parent and no matter how much they rely on that person, he or she cannot provide what is necessary to produce a third way. Author Robert T. Kawasaki - who authored the book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" made a point of telling us that his personal and financial success came from everything he learned from his rich dad role model. There’s another famous book that says that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of doing something to be a master of that thing. Look for role models who are long practicing experts in some area. Successful people also tend to get help in their journey to be successful, and are enabled by it.
Successful role models are self-starters
When a firm employs people, it looks for candidates with passion, and they have ways of finding it. Clever questions, problems that need fixing, some crisis that reveals that quality somehow. Some obstacle. Some people respond to a challenge!
There are plenty of examples of people with passion. Take people who are poets, or who write. They write whether they get paid for it or not. Are people who do this insane? Or are they a creative miracle? I know another artist who is giving up his art because he can’t sell his art. Where is his passion? Where did it go? Or did it leave him at all? People who have a passion for what they do, will do it no matter what! They are self-starters, they are like robots almost, they program themselves to just that one thing – and they never stop doing it. Until they succeed.
So what are we saying here? Have we found the formula for Superhumans? There’s more to success than just passion. Passion is a love for something. It’s habitual. There is a personal dimension also, outside of that person. Kids will look to the most obvious people in their lives while growing up, for advice, for nurturing, for reassurance, for guidance in what direction they need to go for praise. Kids will look for nourishment, and we instill it in our kids, we all gradually move towards the light, since we know what is good for us. So we need to pass this on.
Some will not have good parents at all, and will have to fend for themselves, which is very hard on them. But a few will discover other people, similar to their parents, a kind of mentor friend who becomes almost a surrogate parent, but will be better than a parent in one or two ways, who will act as a catalyst in that person’s life. That mentor might also be a teacher of some kind.
Role models can be our best friends
Our role models are likely to be either parents, teachers or a boss or work mate of some kind. Or someone with an innate talent we like and we link up with them. We respect them and perhaps even revere them. If you go through at least the first two levels of education – you will increase your chances of happening upon a role model outside of family. Third level education increases your chances even more. Colleges and universities are hotbeds of innovation and talented people. Remember the story of the two guys behind Google. There were two. The Two guys behind Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Apple’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Two is always better than one. There's a far better chance of succeeding.
We can be the role models for the next generation who are coming along. In these difficult (but not impossible) times, we need to nurture and help and guide these young people. They will need the skills and abilities to survive in the world they will inherit from us. We will succeed in becoming role models by being compassionate, caring, by being responsible (something that’s getting harder for some adults to be these days), by encouraging and giving the younger ones room to grow and discover things, to question things also, by praising good efforts and less praise of the person or the ego. We can be good role models by telling and showing that success takes hard work and commitment. All successful people have to work hard to achieve their dreams. So let's show them how we can be their role models, and start giving them something to believe in, besides fairy tale happy endings. We can be role models by making a good example.
Copyright (c) 2009 - 2014 Cassy Mantis & Cathy Nerujen. All Rights reserved. All names and trademarks mentioned here are copyright of their respective holders.
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