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Finding someone to look up to

Updated on July 25, 2010

Role models

The role models in our life

One of the most important aspects of growing up and accepting ourselves and our position in life is knowing the ones who made it possible for us to be the best we can be and helped guide us and gave us the support and encouragement we needed. We often look to someone close to us for inspiration, encouragement and guidance. Sometimes if we feel lost or alone we seek our peers for acceptance. We must be very careful in finding acceptance of others and tying to fit in and sometimes we have to summon our inner strength and always use our best judgement. The question as to who that person or persons maybe who will have great influence in our life and help shape us as individuals and teach us appropriately and help provide us with inspiration, love, encouragement, insight and vision is a journey we have to go on so we can find who it is that will be there for us no matter what.

For me the answer is very easy who that person or persons are as I knew since I was a child who I admired and respected and wanted to be like. I believe as children we all need to find someone who teaches us and shows us the way and encourages us to be our very best. It is not always so easy to grow up and live a life full of promise and truly achieve all we can unless we have a strong support system. Life is very complicated and we all have to balance our feelings and emotions to help us enjoy and appreciate the happy occasions and to help us get through and deal with the sad occasions.

Since we are influenced by our parents and learn from them in the very beginning and all throughout our lives we will always look for them for guidance and for comfort. Our parents give us life and nurture us and protect us and to me they are the ones who teach us, shape us and help us become who we are because of their love and influence.

I always remember talking to my mom and dad about most everything in my life and I knew that they would always be there for me and I knew I was safe and protected and very lucky to have them in my life. My mom and dad are and will always be my first and most important role models in my life. The definition of role model is someone to pattern your life after and someone you emulate. My parents were certainly there all throughout my life to help me with my homework, to wipe away my tears, to make sure I ate nutritious meals, to make sure I slept comfortably, to take me out to the movies, to let Santa know I was a good boy and deserved to be on his good list, to teach me how to act with the girls, to help me go to college and to still support me as I started to work and planned to go on my own. Because of all their love and support I choose them to be the ones I most want to be like especially in raising my son. My desire to help my son and provide him with all the love and support he needs and with the guidance, encouragement and nurturing he deserves is based on what my parents provided to me in my life.

I sometimes feel that we come to expect so much from our parents that we seem to take it all for granted when we are young but when we become parents we then realize all that our parents did for us and we then start to appreciate it as we try to do the same for our children. Life is a growing experience and we learn from so many people in our lives. With our parents we learn from the very beginning. When we go to school our learning is reinforced and we start to learn from others as well which is very important as we need others in our life to help shape us as individuals too. Teachers are usually looked at in a positive way and for many of us there is always that special teacher who said encouraging words to us or never gave up on us and they truly had a major impact in our life. For me I remember having been influenced by several teachers in my life who helped me to believe in myself and helped me learn and make progress and to be confident. I was very fortunate to come from wonderful parents and family and to have wonderful teachers in my life.

I also believe we learn from others indirectly and when we look up to someone in that capacity it usually is as a result of experiencing it whether rooting for a sporting team or appreciating the performance in a movie or concert. To some of us including myself a role model can also be a baseball player or other type of athlete, an actor or actress or a musician. In life it is very important to have outside interests and hobbies and by becoming more well rounded and finding pleasure from our interests we can then learn from the ones we enjoy watching. When I was a kid I was very impressed with a baseball player who played his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and I thought he was one of the best players I ever saw in the game and I was so much a fan of his that I read his biography in a kids book in grade school.

His name was Roberto Clemente and I always enjoyed watching him play. Since I grew up in New York I did not really get to see him often and usually only saw him when he played against my team of choice, the New York Mets. It was a moment frozen in time that to this day I will never forget and that was when he hit his 3,000th major league hit, a double at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh on September 30, 1972 against the New York Mets and Jon Matlack, the pitcher. I was celebrating his accomplishment and was a big fan of his that I wanted to play baseball just like he did. I was 11 years old and I just loved how he played the game. As I look back on that game I am also reminded of how his life was cut short tragically later that same year on December 31, 1972 in a tragic plane crash as he was attempting to arrange a relief flight of food and supplies to those affected in an earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua.

When I learned of his tragic death I remember crying as if I lost a close family member. I looked up to Roberto Clemente and thought of him not only as a great baseball player but as a dedicated husband and father and a humanitarian who gave back to his community and reached out to help others in time of need. He was very special and to this day I think of all he did on the baseball field and it brings me back to my childhood days and I think of what he was attempting to do at his time of death and it made me appreciate him even more as a kind and caring human being who was a lot more than just a great baseball player.

I find it is very important to have role models and there are many types of role models who have influence in our life and they certainly help us in developing and growing as individuals and now that I am a father I wish to be the best I can be for my son and provide him with positive influence and help guide, support and teach him the ways of living and striving to do his very best. The whole point to my writings is to leave something for my son to have as my gift and as a reference and as a way of showing him how much I love and care for both him and his mother and let him know that I will always be there for him.

That is what I promise to my son and I gladly take on the responsibilities as a role model as my parents did for me.

Edward D. Iannielli III

Gay Talese - Famous author (The Bridge) Interviewed my Dad

Roberto Clemente tribute


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    • jeolmoz2 profile image

      Julio E Olmo Sr 3 years ago from Florida, USA

      The man is a saint in Puerto Rico, he was more than a ballplayer to us