Today in the morning I received an email from Gulf News (Daily news paper here) about online debate on the topic “Role Model”. I was informed that I cannot participate in online debate as the preference is for the first time participants. I was also asked if I wish I can submit my thoughts in a small write up. Below is a write up with some of my thoughts on the topic “Role Models”.
Today when we look at the case of Lance Armstrong or Oscar Pistorious we may feel that these are the Role Models we have? Do we really need role models? What is the impact they can have on our society? I would like to put forward my point of view in favor of the argument. I am of the opinion that we have role models in 21st century. They are the real heroes in the society and not only some imaginary characters.
First of all anyone can be a role model for an individual. At every stage of life we have different people acting as our role models. For eg. as a child our mother and father are our first role models. When we go to school our teachers are our role models and when we grow up we start having famous personalities as our role models. Role models play a very important role in our lives. We look up to them and try and imitate them in every walk of life. We want to be like them. Here I will separate role models in two categories: one who has got celebrity status and one who play their role silently. It is not a person who chooses to be the role model but because of his act others choose him as their role model. When a celebrity is perceived as a role model in the society he / she have to be very careful. They have to think before they act. Their actions will have a greater impact on the society. At young age when kids see their role model is walking with an attitude with cigarette or alcohol in his / her hand, kids think it is good as their role model is doing it. On the other hand if some one’s role model is like Mother Teresa, they also want to devote their lives in serving others.
However, when we look at a real life person as a role model we cannot simply ignore that he / she is a human being and may go wrong. Yes, I agree that when people perceive some celebrity as their role model, greater responsibility lies on their shoulder. These celebrities need to abide by ethical and moral values. It is also our responsibility to think before imitating our role model. When we think of Lance, why we first think of his doping case? We need to see his efforts and his spirit to live and fight back. We need to decide that what we should take from our role model. We cannot follow them blindly.
In real life, there are people around us who are silently doing their good deeds. We as a society may not be aware about them as they are not in lime light. Why can’t we make them our role models?? A person should become a role model because of his good deeds and act of kindness and not because they are celebrity they should be our role models.
To sum up, I will say we cannot do away with role models in our society. Even in today’s world we still need role models to look up to. Definitely celebrity role models have a greater responsibility on their shoulders to understand their ethical and moral responsibility towards the society. As a society when we follow someone as our role model, we also need to decide what we take from them. We cannot just blindly follow any person as our role model. We cannot ignore act of kindness by our role model just because they committed one mistake. Also those who have achieved celebrity role model status need to behave more responsibly and always remember that people are looking up to them.