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.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Steven Kane

    “America is not prudish or closed-minded, it is exhausted. It cannot be exaggerated, how much Americans feel besieged by the culture of their own country.” – Peggy Noonan

    1. Gotham Gal

      I am not a Peggy Noonan fan but nice quote.

      1. Steven Kane

        Agree, Noonan is very hit or miss. But, I actively make an effort to readpeople I often disagree with, not just people I usually agree with. Too manyfolks, I think, live in an echo chamber of their own preconceived ideas,which is why the fighting and the divide are so pronounced and hot thesedays…

  2. marilynmm

    brava – did the bankers never hear of going the night before, by limo or by train? and Tiger Woods – he’s over is the best I can say and, for his sake, that his kids are too young to need this explained.

    1. Gotham Gal

      The kids definitely got the rawest end of the stick. Agreed, ever heard of going the night before. Duh.joanne [email protected]

  3. ShanaC

    I’m popping in from AVC.com, I just want to say, you are right on. The question is how do you create compelling role models and then introduce them to young people from a very early age (say five or three- you can ask a three year old about Tiger Woods and golf, they’ll recognize his face from the amount of media exposure he’s had)It’s very hard to find positive role models. And keep them around. So how do we create systems to make sure these are there?

  4. Dan Conway

    We’re the generation a tad obsessed with self, instant rewards and gratification. I’d look the other way to those less focused on themselves. Those who are of service to others. Included on a list of potential role models for our youth:- workers and volunteers at homeless shelters and food banks and other charities.- that one teacher who goes above and beyond.- the ninety year old uncle or great-grandmother who remembers and tells of a simpler life and time, service, sacrifice during WWII and working hard afterwards (a generation nearly completely gone now)- the long time recovering alcoholic working the principles of a program in being of service to others in recovery and who shows up and focuses on and lives life in gratitude.- the parent who volunteers to coach the pee wee basketball team who inspires and awakens a child’s passion, drive and competitive nature.- and then I’d throw a few entrepreneurs on there

    1. Gotham Gal

      Good list. These are the people the media should be obsessed with.

  5. cookiemoo

    We should be the role models for our own children. It all begins at home.

    1. Gotham Gal


      1. cookiemoo