What is a good role model?

In a supposed ever changing world is there such a thing as a good, reliable role model? I believe so. But by what measure do you go by? Should the basis be on looks, health, wealth, public opinion, success? All of these will lead to arguments and inevitably a shallow measure. By what then should we judge a good model?

We would have to look for system that could stand the test of time by being outside of time or timeless. Would any one person from history make a good role model when all we have to go on are a few scant details left by their footprints in time? Religious people, those of the Christian faith, would immediately put forward Jesus as an exemplary model, even many Muslims would agree to this as Jesus is regarded as a prophet in their faith too. So why not Mahatma Ghandi, was he not a good man too?  My knowledge of Ghandi is scant, but at least he sought peace.

So it would seem that no person can be used as a model. So maybe, just maybe, we could take a look at the religious texts upon which these notably good people based their lives. What kind of traits would we look for? Kindness? I certainly would. Who would want to set a murderer or an abuser as the basis for a good, moral citizen? We all have in-built standards; things we know to be wrong and right. No one likes a thief, though some of us may steal for plausibly right reasons, but in the end they simply become abusers of another’s possessions. Who then can be our model?

All we seem to have are questions without answers. The Bible says that “everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial” so here’s an idea. We base our model only on that which is beneficial to others. If we focus not on ourselves or on those like us: in our class, culture, clan, tribe, or whatever but on others regardless of their sexuality, creed, faith nationality, colour or ethnicity. Then perhaps we will all become good role models. Perhaps in this way we will discover what is truly good in all people and what needs adjusting in ourselves.

If we were to turn ourselves into examples of goodness in the eyes of those who look upon and experience us; as people, then perhaps society can be one single model of goodness which each individual person has contributed to. This would generate a sense of open well-being that everyone has and is proactive in creating and developing. We would become our good role-model removing the need for other, single examples.

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