Just....Well, Just Who Is An American Role Model Today?
I see them everywhere, but usually I'm looking at someone else's imagination.
Who is the role model you want today's chidren to emulate?
Who we think of as notable in America and the world today, says more about us than it does about them.
Who are today's American role models?
After celebrating Memorial Day and thinking about some real heroes dead and living, who are today's role models for today's next generation of Americans?
There is a difference, you know, between having temporary fame, and demonstrating lasting value.
Ideally (note the word), two of today's heroes should be Barack Hussein Obama and Willard Mitt Romney. Both are self-made millionaires; went after and obtained good educations; and raised themselves to high positions of government and in their respective political parties. If our system of government is working the way we expect it to, they are the best candidates their political parties can put forward for our approval.
If, on the other hand, either Obama or Romney tolerated not only distortions but even lies in their efforts to retain or win the presidency, they surely shouldn't qualify as role models for the coming generation.
Sports heroes come to mind due to their fame, but are they really heroes or just professionals earning money, lots of money, with the talents they have developed, usually with good scholarships some other student might have worked even harder for, and incomes some professional agent got for them?
Movie stars, some of them...and presuming they are actually stars...make lots of money and have agents, too, but we sometimes confuse the characters they play, with who they really are. Nurturing strong, lasting relationships, is not a characteristic most of us associate with their values, even though one of them rose to be admired and voted into the presidency.
Celebrities come to mind in this search for today's heroes, and Oprah Winfrey is at or near the top of that list, admired by so many and certainly a capable TV hostess and actress who has shown interests in many social problem areas. Robert Redford has had a long run of celebrity since his high school days in Utah, and is well known for the professional and social causes and activities he lends his celebrity to.
Colin Powell, a military man whose service to our nation is a good match for Romney's and Obama's, is near the top of many an American's list. Former President Carter has won respect for his humanitarian and peace efforts. A very few government advisors and political figures make some lists, perhaps in part by comparison with other colleagues who are not so well regarded.
Frankly, I'm not sure what current figures we regard with true "role model esteem". Is there one in American religious circles who is highly regarded across even the religious spectrum? Billy Graham perhaps? Is there a business figure (Donald Trump?) who is widely considered "the cream of the crop"? How about an educator who people universally look to as "the best and the brightest" American? Is there an "elder statesman" whose wise counsel is sought after and respected by most Americans?
I can think of international figures, and even then a relative few, who are admired by many Americans such as Anwar Sadat of Egypt was before his assassination, Mother Theresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Dalai Lama, and a few people whose celebrity allowed them to cross over into areas of admirable humanitarian service.
Is there a writer, a playwright, a poet who speaks to the collective American soul and is loved in return?
I have mentioned a potential few. Some may be on your list, but I suspect most of us could not name five other Americans who would be on everyone's "Top 10 List" of role models for the next generation of Americans.
I hope I am wrong. We need good role models to emulate and follow.
© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.