Our youth is so easily inspired, but do us adults have any role models as well?

Who do you most admire? For most of us, it is a former teacher, a neighbor, a favorite athlete, etc. As we grow into adulthood we don’t necessarily regard this to be a trait we teach our youth. We never really are taught to have a role model, we sort of just adapt to choose one. If you stop and think about it, the people who influence you the most give you the most important life lessons.

In a role model, we look for ethical and moral values. Psychologically, role models and people of inspiration guide us through life, providing development and to help us make decisions that affect our lives in hopes to find happiness.

I think the most obvious for children is their parents. Children pick up so many habits from their parents as they intimidate their behavior. As they grow older obviously, they’ll gain new role models. Educators, coaches, teammates, classmates, etc.

I bring this up because working in an elementary school building, I see this every day. Dozens of kids wearing sports jerseys each day, representing their favorite player(s). I think athletes are on a platform that attracts the eye. It is easy to idolize athletes for their hard work and determination to win and be the best. I look at guys like Adam Thielen of the Vikings, what an amazing story there. He gives hope to any kid out there to make it from a small school to the big time. Going from Detroit Lakes to MSU-Mankato to NFL stardom as an undrafted free agent. Thielen is also on the list of humble athletes. You don’t see him flashing his money around or growing his ego at all. He is the type of athlete kids can look up to.

Growing up, we look to our role models for inspiration and follow them as a blueprint with how we want to be when we are older. Having the correct role model can ensure a healthy learning lifestyle and make the path to success much easier.

When discussing a role model or a person of inspiration with yourself or you kids, make sure that person has good morals and values. A good role model should be someone hard working, creative, humble, and kind. If they are with the “wrong” crowd, simply explain that they are poor role models, as there are good and bad role models. Also, give a firm reminder that these people are also human. Although you look up to somebody, doesn’t mean they cannot disappoint you. Do not follow them blindly, as nobody is immune to mistakes.

Lastly, a reminder for the high school athletes as both volleyball and football playoffs are underway this week. The little guys and girls are watching and want to be just like you. Make sure your actions and words provide the best example.