We’d all do well to listen to our resident teenage columnist and his advice on role models.
When I said last year that Donald Trump would be serving his tenth term as emperor in 2050, I meant it as a joke! By the time you are reading this, that thinskinned cheese puff (in desperate need of a good stylist) will be living in the White House. The office of the American presidency has been occupied by some amazing role models: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, JFK and Barack Obama. Now Trump will be expected to be a role model, for his citizens and those growing up globally, during his presidency.
ROLE MODELS HELP US SEE WHO WE WANT TO BE. They are a big part of a young person’s life. The traits they pick up from their role models will influence how they act and behave as an adult, in both positive and negative ways. Role models may be sports stars, singers, actors, and these days, social media stars. In the modern world, younger people are becoming more obsessed with idols who aren’t always a good influence. On Instagram you only see the finished product: the perfect selfie, the amazing life, or the full- time champion. Seeing this you might start to doubt yourself because you don’t live in a mansion or have six million followers.
SOMETIMES, WE MIMIC ROLE MODELS BY CHOICE. However, we are also influenced by many others, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. An influencer could be someone we don’t want to be like, but because of their status and how much we see them, we take on some of their behaviour subconsciously. We need to be mindful of who influences us, because as a society, we can pick up traits that are harmful to ourselves or each other. Let’s take Mr Cheese Puff, for example. More and more people are now subconsciously participating in casual racism. Why? The excessive exposure of Donald Trump on Facebook, Twitter and the news, saying something racist, can slowly seep into our daily lives without it being noticed.
THIS MAY SOUND LIKE SOME DECAF SOY LATTE, STAR SIGN-OBSESSED PIECE OF SPIRITUAL WISDOM, but I mean it; learn to see yourself from the outside and be your own role model. You might not have as many followers as Kim Kardashian or as much money as Bill Gates, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a good person or aren’t achieving your goals. Social media provides us with many positives. But it also perpetuates some characters who aren’t always the best influence, purely because they are famous and good looking; traits that aren’t relative to being a good person. Understand that you mightn’t be like them, but you’re still great, as long as you aim to be.
WHETHER IT’S PRESIDENT TRUMP, Kim Kardashian or Bill Gates, role models are everywhere. And they’re all important. But when it comes to the crunch, the best person to influence your behaviour and to live up to, is the one you see in the mirror every morning.
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