Rob Kenney has a YouTube channel Dad, How Do I? where he teaches his nearly 3 million viewers how to do stuff. He got the idea for his channel wondering about the kids growing up without dads and wanting to help fill that space for them, teaching them how to tie their tie, do their taxes, check their oil, plant a tree, and so on. He tells them he’s proud of them.
What a sweet idea. And resource! But, more importantly, how wonderful it is to see someone consciously being a positive role model, using his know-how to help others, and trying to fill a void.
The truth is we all have the potential to be role models. Whether it’s how we behave under pressure, handle a crowded line, or talk with someone who disagrees, our actions matter. People will see us and think about whether they want to follow our example. We have a responsibility to be a good one.
Children are always watching. And listening. They will learn to be great, kind, strong, brave, and generous by emulating their role models, When those role models are other children, they will learn that they are capable of changing the world with their actions. They don’t have to wait until they ‘grow up’ to make a difference in someone else’s life; they can do it right now, right where they are, with whatever tools they already have,
Check out this remarkable partnership between Nickelodeon and KidsRights to shine a spotlight on the stories of some remarkable kids from around the globe. It is inspiring to see how these kids looked at their circumstances, evaluated what was lacking, and then worked to make things better.
In every life, there comes a time where you consider what kind of a person you want to be. Sometimes this is when you make career goals, but often it involves thinking about the ways you want to relate to others independent of any job.
Think back over your own life. Who made a difference when you really needed it, who inspired you, nurtured you, helped you grow and develop? Perhaps there is something there you can now emulate for others.
But, also, consider what may have been missing that you really felt you needed but didn’t have. An attentive parent, a true friend, a nurturing teacher. Someone who saw beyond the external and valued your worth. Perhaps there is someone in your life who needs this type of role model just as much as you did. Maybe that person is you.