Role Models

If you have had a good childhood, your role models would have first been glamorous dolls and later as you grew up, hard-working, self-made personalities.

What exactly are role models? They are a projection of our fulfilled expectations. We adore them because they define success for us. They resonate with our deepest desires. Sometimes they give purpose to our lives. (Otherwise most people wouldn’t know what to do with their lives!)

Well, I believe that we need not have any role models in life. Although I always appreciate and am awed by anyone who shows a religious attitude towards his work or vocation, I do not think I need to design my life according to those standards, only because they are highly valued and are very successful. I’ll tell you why.

We are all unique personalities, making this world a colorful place, giving a bit of our color to everyone we come across. Though I do not accept everything that Osho says, one of his lectures did make me look at our life from another perspective. He said just like a mango seed that has a blueprint of the entire tree hidden in itself, an infant is born with a blueprint according to which his life unfolds as he grows.

In other words, we need not seek affirmation for our actions by following a role model. We do not need any role models. We are complete in ourselves. What we lack is a faith to believe in ourselves. We cannot see our worth unless it promises some material benefit. That is the whole idea of looking up to a role model. It is an assurance that we will never fail. As teens we want to become a rockstar and as an adult we want to become a millionaire.

What this attitude does is that, you keep hopping from one ambition to another, without ever stopping to think about your real worth. You worth becomes directly proportional to your ability to be like your role model.

Now, a valid argument to this idea is that, children need to live by example and so, it is important to have good role models. However, how many times the role models we look up to, turn out to be defective; their life based on a faulty, groundless material ambition. (As humans, we are always going to be enmeshed in our vague insecurities and carry our shadow sides with us!)  Doesn’t that leave us incomplete and broken, rendering our life aimless in an instant?

The solution put forth to this by many is to have a better role model, the definition of which evades them completely.

That is because, there is no better or worse role model. Each individual is learning to grow on his own path in his own way. Sure enough the seed that he carries within himself is one day going to bloom. In the process he may become a source of light to others; however in no way does it mean that others do not have the ability to shine on their own!


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