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Do Tell: Did You Have a Role Model?

When it comes to the nature versus nurture argument, the debate still wages, but as far as nurture goes, our parents seem to be the indicators for why we are the way we are. However, for many of us, our parents were not the only people that we looked up to.

For some people it's a teacher, an older friend, or even a television character! For me, it was my aunts. I have four and as a child, I worshiped them. Whether or not they were the best role models, I don't know, but they were the women who I wanted to be someday. So what about you? Do tell, did you have a role model growing up? If so, tell us about them!


Join The Conversation
ErieIndiana ErieIndiana 9 years
Read "The Nurture Assumption" by J. Rich-Harris, that's the only thing I can think of for this post.
remedios remedios 9 years
I like reading others' stories, but no role model for me. My family is a good family, but I never really saw any of them as a role model.
jgulli3 jgulli3 9 years
My parents, Grandpa, my Sisters, and my Best Friend. :-)
When I was younger, I always tried to think of someone famous to be my role model. But, as I have gotten older, I've realized that my parents are the best role models I could have. They have been married for 27 years, no cheating, no illigitimate children, no "I'm leaving you." Just love, honor and devotion for 27 years, and going strong! Not many couples stay married that long anymore, so I find myself to be quite lucky to have something to strive towards. They've shown me that you don't just give up on a marriage, you work through your arguments, and disagreements.
nopenope nopenope 9 years
My boyfriend and I recently had this conversation. My principal, and family friend, in elementary school (and also some of my junior high years) was my role model growing up. She was / is absolutely amazing and a true inspiration. My boyfriend realized that he never had a positive, strong, adult role model growing up. It was sad to see him realize that he hadn't had a role model that wasn't a bad influence or made him feel inadequate when he was younger.
sugarbean sugarbean 9 years
sorry. that's really effing long.
sugarbean sugarbean 9 years
I love questions like this... The only truly consistent role models have been my mom, dad and little brother. My mom, well, wow. She took "giving my kids what I didn't have" to an entirely new level, and she did such a good job that sometimes she has a hard time understanding us. I don't mean that in a way that we have every material thing that we could ever want -- we don't and we would be miserable if we did -- but she committed to teaching us to always take the high road no matter what, and we've done it -- much to her chagrin at times (it also doesn't help when she gets caught up in her friends' BS and we try to offer her the same words of wisdom she raised us with). She also made sure we never settled for anything we didn't believe was fair (to the point that I managed to change school policies with letter writing campaigns when I was in 5th grade) My dad... he's the epitome of the nice guys finish last concept. No matter how much he does right and how much he cares, he always seems to have to pay for it in the end. It breaks my heart, but it has absolutely driven me to working towards reform. Again, changing school policies in the fifth grade comes to mind. The headmaster of the school I was attending at the time complimented my parents on their letter -- when they looked confused and he offered more details (specifically, the letter addressing the policy that girls would be required to wear skirts or pants and prohibited from wearing shorts unless the temperature in South FL dropped below 45 degrees) they laughed and told him they'd merely served a spell-check function and helped me address/stamp the envelope. He showed me that people appreciate being nice and doing the right thing -- and that, contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to create policy that is in line with that reality. He also taught me that it is okay to be quiet and listen more than I speak -- and if I truly believe I'm right, I need to stick with it -- not only for myself but for the other people involved as well. I wish I could explain more, but legal nonsense prohibits it. Lastly, my little brother... I can't even begin to imagine the responsibility that comes with having a child -- just having one little brother is more than enough. On a daily basis, my parents reminded me that he watched me and adored me and mimicked me. I still cry when I read one of the first letters he wrote me -- he told me that when he kicks ass in a debate/argument with his friends and/or classmates and they give him a hard time about being tough he just laughs and tells them that they should meet his sister. Right now, he serves at your command -- after 9/11, something in him compelled him to serve his country and fight for your freedom and your rights. In all honesty, I will never, ever believe that you deserve his life, which he has offered to sacrifice for you and every other person in America (citizen or not) -- neither do I. With every heartbeat, I find myself questioning my allegiance to this country (which my cost me my brother -- aka my bodyguard) and, at the same time, asking myself what else I can do to honor our heritage, cultivate our future and honor my brother. I could go on, but he seems to be a pretty good ending place when it comes to role models. I am honored every time I talk to him and he tells me that he's learning new stuff from me (or when he calls me to find out what's going on in certain situations throughout the world) or that he's impressed by whatever it is that I'm doing (or, more likely, attempting) at the time... The best role models *do* the big things but, at the same time, show you how to handle the little things. At the very same time they are showing you what to do, they teach you what not to do -- and how to not do it with grace and dignity.
missceego0711 missceego0711 9 years
My grandma because she worked hard when she came to America. She worked to make sure her children have a good life here in America. Even though she doesn't work now, she still takes care of her children and grandchildren. Besides my parents, she is one person I can always count on no matter what. Right now I just admire Anderson Cooper. He made it on his own without using his family's name, he rather be out in the war zone reporting on wars and disasters then enjoying vacation time. He kept his promise to Katrina victims and wouldn't forget about New Orleans, he hasn't. He even report there on his show. He's all around a wonderful man.
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 9 years
I feel the same way GlowingMoon and Heineken... there were a lot of people in my life, especially when i was young that i learned what traits i did not want to have and the type of person i didn't want to be. Once I got older and branched out from the little bubble i grew up in, I have definite developed more strong positive role models.
heineken67 heineken67 9 years
I had some great negative role models to show me how not to be. I think they actually did help make me a better person.
cereal_please cereal_please 9 years
My grandma. I honestly think she's perfect. She successfully raised eight children, one was severely mentally retarded (all as a single income family). She took care of my grandpa when he was sick and dying, took care of her own mother for years. Despite all this, she volunteers constantly with her church, and is a devoted Catholic. She can do no wrong in my eyes.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Truthfully, no. There were many people I admired, but they weren't role models. Pessimistically, I had negative role models -- people who I did NOT want to be like. I observed their behavior, and decided I did NOT want to be like them. LOL
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
My mother of course, widow with four kids, she is made of muffins and steel! I have to say that Little House on the Prairie , micheal landon, was my male role model, dont laugh. Its because of him that I went for the sensitive guys.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Honestly since I've met my husband he's been my role model. He teaches me that you can be whatever you want and to be real and not worry about what other people think of you. It's great.
syako syako 9 years
well in terms of outside the family/close friends, I'd have to say my biggest role models were the U.S. Women's national soccer team back in the 90s when they were winning EVERYTHING! I played soccer (still do) and they were so inspirational to me - they were fit and healthy and strong AND beautiful. I loved watching them play but I loved even more reading magazine interviews with them where they'd talk about how athletes don't smoke because it would hinder their performance and things like that. It was such a positive influence on my self esteem that I hope more young girls today look up to women athletes.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
My Parents, Grandparents, My Aunts, and my BF b/c he's in Iraq right now. :LOVE: them all.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
My mom was and still is my role model. I use to look up to entertainers too but they all seem to have fallen from grace. My mom though she is a tough woman, she always did things on her own and still wore a smile despite all the bad things that may have happened. I still hope that someday I can be like her.
emalove emalove 9 years
It's always been my father. He is just an amazing person, in every area. He's well-educated, well-spoken, honest, genuine, and gives everyone a chance. He was raised in a family of eight kids, came from nothing, but worked his way through college by doing carpentry with his buddies. He got his Master's degree while working full-time AND helping my mom raise two little kids. But my favorite thing about him is how kind and compassionate a person he is. He will ALWAYS go out of his way to help somebody and make sure things are "right". One day when I was in junior high school, he was taking me to my best friend's house for a sleepover. It was a snowstorm and we passed a little, elderly lady shoveling her driveway. We didn't know her at all, but he immediately stopped the car, got out, and walked over to the lady. He took the shovel and finished shoveling her driveway, while I sat in the car, freezing and waiting for him. I was annoyed at the time because I was a 13 year old kid wanting to go see my friend, but now I look back on it and this is just one of the many reasons I love and admire my father so much.
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