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What makes a true role model?

A true role model is someone who inspires another to change something in themselves. Not by copying what they have seen but by actually choosing to make a change for themselves in the way that they live. In this way of living you don’t get exhausted. It is not something you have to keep up with or constantly be better at.

It is all in the quality of the way you live in each moment.

You don’t have to have a public face and then a face for your friends and another one for your family or work colleagues. The way you are is constant through all areas of your life. You become a role model by living example and not by what you can be seen to do or have done.

I am a role model; I see how my children look at me and I watch what they do. I hear the way they speak and know they are watching everything I do.

I don’t tell my children one thing and then do another thing myself.

I live what I say first and then I don’t really have to say it at all. I have found that if I do my best to do or say what I feel in any moment, then I am better prepared for whatever comes next.

This is the way I choose to live and I can see the powerful effect this has had on my family and those around me.

It may seem simple. It is.

In this way of living it is almost by accident that I have become a role model. This is because the focus isn’t on anything else but the moment I am in.

My children are role models for each other and for me.

I watch how the children are:

  • The way they interact
  • How they show each other what they do and don’t like
  • How they watch and learn from each other
  • We can learn a lot from watching our children

So while I am a role model for them, they are in turn also role models for me.

We can all be and are all role models in our own way.

In the past I have assumed being a role model was something you strive for and achieve. Now I can see that it is an ongoing relationship between people. No one person knows everything or has everything.

You could say that in every relationship there is something to learn or model ourselves on. I have certainly seen this for me. In every interaction, whether at home with the children or my partner, at work with customers, at a function with friends or in the service station getting petrol, there is something for me – always something new is presented to look at.

Too often I have looked at the most popular person, the strongest person or the richest person to model myself on. We all have a role to play in life at different times and it becomes obvious that role models are everyday people doing everyday things.

It seems to me now that being a role model is simply about just having responsibility for our choices we make in life, and giving ourselves permission to be as honest as we can be, without trying to be perfect and then seeing how everything we do affects those around us in one way or another.

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    By Ray Karam, Diploma in Policing, President Ballina Chamber of Commerce, Business Owner

    Multiple business owner and former NSW Police officer. Lives with his wife and 5 beautiful children, loves people and being in the community. President of the Ballina Chamber of Commerce.