Following or Forgetting
Are role models a good thing? Everyone has someone they have at some time looked up to and tried to emulate. Some of these people become mentors, others may never know they had influence on someone at all. These people can be positive influences, or they can be victim of too high of expectations and become a detriment (most often those expectations are unreasonable and have nothing to do with actual qualities of those we emulate).
Throughout my life, I have had people offer themselves as examples of what kind of person I “should” be, what kind of man (whatever that means) I should try to be like, what kind of parent I should be and to be truthful, most of those examples have not been ones I would like to follow. But this is not failure on their part or even me putting too high of expectations on them. Rather, it feels more like a failure of a culture that tries to define normalcy, whether that be religious or moral or something else.
Show me a good father and I can show you someone who will find fault with that same father. A good teacher, a strong leader, these are all abstract terms applied to subjective criteria.
For a long time, I found fault in most of the male figures in my life. It was easy to point at my own failings and say, “Look at the examples I have had to follow!” Now that feels like an excuse. Why should I allow the direction any one or group of individuals has taken, impact my choices. It feels more reasonable to take what works for me from every source and use those things to make me into something I want to be.
Funny how at the halfway point of life, I start to finally figure things out, that certain things start to matter. Maybe I have always understood these things but they only needed explanation recently.
As always, dear Dark Void, I would love to hear from you.