What Makes a Role Model?
I woke up this morning and got all my errands out of the way before going to my parents’ house to wish my dad a happy birthday. Somewhere between all of that I started to think about my mindset from childhood to adulthood and the roles my parents played in my growth over the years. I was, and still am, lucky to have two amazing parents that never lead me in the wrong direction. However, whatever you pull from each has to blend with the personality that God blesses you with from birth to make you who you are.
Is that what makes our parents role-models? If that’s so; I’m a part of my mother’s never-ending well of empathy and a part of my father’s iron-clad mental strength, while I control where and when to use either skill. That’s the overly simplified version of who I am and who they are. To be honest, I’m still growing and morphing into who I will be. Everyone that walks this earth has a story to tell of how they became and who they continue to change into.
History has shared some of these stories, giving us role models and villains that we never actually met. Like how my favorite President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, lived and died before my mom’s mom even had a chance to enter the world. But it doesn’t change what positives I’ve decided to garner from his accomplishments. One of the amazing qualities I believe he possessed had nothing to do with his “New Deal” or “Fireside chats”, even though those were wonderful all on their own. I loved the fact that he didn’t shy away from marrying a very opinioned, strong-willed woman. Yes, we all know that he had his little “flings” on the side. I never said he was perfect. If being perfect was a perquisite of being a role model no one would ever fit the bill.
Anywho, coming back to my dad and his strengths as a man and role model was what made me a very strong-willed woman myself. I take pride in the fact that I’m very much like my father and anyone that knows me has no qualms in telling me either. Because of my father, I would definitely be seen as a feminist in our society. He instilled a sense of self-reliance in all his children that felt like a second skin for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that women and men differ quite a bit in physical and mental processes and that is part of the beauty of how we’re made. However, the different skills we both excel in balance themselves out in the long run, so we should be political, economic, and social equals in all regards. A very fitting lesson I learned from a “man’s man” born to a strong-willed single mother.
My dad and I don’t always agree, but when we don’t agree we always find a way to agree to disagree out of mutual love and respect. I wouldn’t change a thing about the man that brought me into this world and I love the fact I know he feels the same about me. I will love him unconditionally for as long as I’m alive. I will be continually proud of being a part of his legacy and even after he reaches a ripe old age I will never stop wanting another year more of his company. Here’s to the man that defined “my” definition of a role-model. Happy 60th Birthday Daddy and happy Wednesday to everyone else!