We all do need a role model, someone to admire, someone to influence us, someone to be our guiding compass on the right values and ethics of life. The younger we are, the more is the need for a role model. The role models represent something of much higher value to us, may be at a cultural and psychological level. Every generation had their role models. I had many since childhood, like Vivekananda, Satyajit Ray and Amitabh Bacchan, admired them for unique reasons, and humbly tried to learn something of value from their life. Some may admire Gandhi, Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Tagore, Tendulkar or Anna. Some admire their parent. Some admire Jesus. Some admire a friend. Once in a while I come across new role models, sometime their life have lasting long term affect on me, sometime they don’t.
Who are the role models for the youngest generation now? I do not know. All I know for sure, they need one (my 15 months old son will need one soon), and their role model must represent high standards, great values, and right ethics and moral codes for the little young generation to admire. I can not control my son from getting over exposed to today’s media, which is usually nothing but cheap low-value cacophony. But I really do not want him to adopt today’s media faces (like movie stars or rappers) as role models due to this constant exposure, taking their on-screen projection of youth and behaviors as the baseline standard, just because this generation will not have relevant role models, whom they can connect with. I am afraid there are not many role models out there these kids can now connect their life with. I am afraid they may not get enough guidance from school and family to explore the new world, consume less media junk, learn more about the history, and find best role models to follow. I do not know how that critical void can be filled, because if someone good does not, someone bad will. May be we parents can stand up and wear the necessary hat, and fill that void in our innocent kids life to be their hero, be their admirable guiding compass, their Superman and Santa clause, even though we are so incapable and imperfect to do so. We can try to do that until they don’t accept our pretension anymore, or find someone else more suitable for the role model job. I sincerely hope that.