who are the role models?

Images My brother wrote a great post the other day called "role models and fallen idols" which got me thinking, who are the role models for the next generation?

I have always believed the lack of role models is one of the many serious problems in our inner cities.  Kids grow up and need role models.  They need to have a support system that gives them boundaries, teaches them manners, builds up their self esteem, see that their dreams are achievable and most important give them a huge amount of love. 

At some point, our kids have taken to movie stars, rock stars and top athletes to be role models.  These are people who have achieved success in their chosen fields.  Many of them aren't exactly what I'd like to have as role models for my kids. 

Tiger Woods, who obviously has drive, focus, a family and is one of the most amazing golfers of our time ended up, as many do, not being a role model.  I could create a huge list here of the many fallen "role models" over the years.  He fell hard.

On another note, last week there was a meeting called by President Obama of the top bankers in our country.  3 of them, had to call in because they couldn't get to DC.  Supposedly there were weather issues but hey, they could have taken the train, as many do who go back and forth from DC to NYC.  They called in, which regardless whether you believe in the politics of Obama or the changes he wants to make in the banking industry, it is utterly disrespectful. 

I bring up the Obama meeting with Tiger Woods because both of these actions send a direction message to our youth.  I might be the best golfer in the world and appear to be happily married while I rake in the profits from tournaments and sponsors who thinking I am an outstanding citizen and role model but in truth, I'm a douche bag.  For the bankers, they have basically said, we are bigger and more powerful than the President because we are rich and untouchable so screw you, we are going to play hardball and not come to your meeting.  It is truly a sad portrayal of where we are as a country.  Granted, the economy isn't so great but these actions represent a fundamental undercurrent which leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 

How do these actions create a desire for our youth to have respect for each other, a desire for hard work incorporated with good values and the desire to be a leaders.  All these things are what good role models teach. 

None of these people signed up to be role models but in our society, whether you like it or not, they are seen as role models to our youth.  I have to ask, where the hell are the heroes that we can dream about becoming in the times that we live in?  It sure as hell isn't Lloyd Blankfein and Tiger Woods.