have more need
of models than of critics.
attributed to Carolyn Coats)
If you as parents cut
corners, your children will too. If you lie,
they will too. If you spend all your money on yourselves and tithe
no portion of it for charities, colleges, churches, synagogues,
civic causes, your children won't either. And if parents
at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass on
the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out.
Marian Wright Edelman
You are the bows from which your children as
living arrows are sent forth.
and hero-worship should not
confuse them every day,
and by doing so we come dangerously close to
depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose
sight of the men and
women who do not simply
seem great because they are famous but are
famous because they are great. We come closer
to degrading all fame into notoriety.
Role modeling is the
most basic responsibility of parents. Parents are
handing life's scripts to their children,
scripts that in all likelihood
will be acted out
for the rest of the children's lives.
or not you have children yourself, you are a parent
to the next generation.
If we can only stop thinking of children
as individual property and think of them
as the next generation,
then we can realize we all have a role to play.
are in charge of your feelings, beliefs, and actions. And you
how to behave toward you. While you cannot
change other people, you can
influence them through your
own behaviors and actions. By being a living
role model of
you want to receive from others, you create more of
what you want in your life.
best way to teach children restraint and generosity is to be
a model of those qualities yourself. If your children see
want a particular item but refrain from buying it, either because
it isnít practical or because you canít afford it, they will
to understand restraint. Likewise, if you donate books or
to charity, take them with you to distribute the items
to teach them about generosity.
think it's an honor to be a role model to one person
or maybe more than that. If you are given a chance
to be a role model, I think you should always take it
because you can influence a person's life in a positive light,
and that's what I want to do. That's what it's all about.
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worry that children never listen to you.
Worry that they are always watching you.
got to be careful whom you pattern yourself after
because you're likely to become just like them.
If I am walking with two other people, each of
them will serve as my teacher.
I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them,
and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.
don't have to know people personally for them to be role models.
Some of my most important role models were historical or literary
that I only read about--never actually met.
most important role models in people's lives, it seems,
aren't superstars or household names. They're 'everyday'
people who quietly set examples for you--coaches, teachers,
parents. People about whom you say to yourself, perhaps
not even consciously, 'I want to be like that.'
of the most important people in my life would be shocked
to learn that they were role models. They weren't
or even particularly accomplished. But they had some quality
that I admired, that made me want to be like them.
Each person must live
their life as a model for others.
A troubled mother took her daughter to
see Mohandas Gandhi,
who was world-renowned for his great
spiritual discipline. It seems
the young girl had become
addicted to eating sweets, and her mother
wanted Gandhi to speak
to her about this harmful habit and convince
her to drop it.
Upon hearing this request, Gandhi paused in silence
and then told
the mother, "Bring the girl back to me in three weeks
will speak to her then."
Just as she was instructed, the mother returned with her
and Gandhi, as he had promised, spoke to the girl about
effects of eating too many sweets. He
counseled her to give them up.
The mother gratefully thanked Gandhi, but was perplexed.
she asked him, "did you not speak to my
daughter when we first came to you?"
"My good woman," Gandhi replied, "three weeks
I myself was still addicted to sweets!"
Since we do not get formal training from
society, we've been relying on
the role models
in our lives. But isn't it true that most
of us were raised
by parents from an era that
put little or no emphasis on human
Where life management was
concerned, people of earlier generations did
strapped into the cockpit and launched off the
runway, ready or not.
If our parents were
never trained to be effective mothers,
then what kind of role models
could they be? In fact, I submit to you
if you have been fortunate enough to have
positive role models in your life,
they--can thank Providence or blind luck or even
trial and error that
they got it right, but it's
a safe bet that training and preparation had nothing
to do with it. Simply put, this
means not only that you may lack certain
information, but that the information you do
have may be wrong.
The young are looking for living models whom they
and who are
capable of rousing their enthusiasm and
to a deeper kind of
More than anything else, the young need
sure guides to go
on the paths of liberation
that God maps out for them.
Bakole wa Ilunga
see their possibility in the reality of
you. Your message is your life lived.
hard to carry a child around with you, but fortunately, in most
you don't have to ask a child for directions if you have a
model ready to guide you. This is the next
prescription: Take one role
model, as often as needed. Set aside a few minutes today to
prescription so you will have it handy when you need it.
about who your role models have been. What do they
offer? Who else
do you admire, and exactly what do you admire about them?
roster of role models ready and waiting to help you the next time
you are perplexed.
Prescriptions for Living