After Further Review … The month of November is always special for me. My father and mother were both born in this month, but now both deceased. What brings them to mind is the term “role models.” They were both that for me, as well as for my brother and two sisters.
In my books – Impartial Judgment and It’s the Will, Not the Skill – I discussed role models, as well as the term “mentors,” which I believe we all need. Coach Herm Edwards, about whom It’s the Will, Not the Skill was written, said loud and clear the meaningful influence his parents had on him.
As an educator and life-long learner, I am often asked about how we can correct or improve today’s schools. Dedicated, committed teachers and better salaries, of course, and consistent standards of behavior, you bet. However, my #1 answer is always – parenting. By that, I not only mean awareness of what and how your kids are doing, but a close involvement in their daily lives and school/activities, including texting, Facebook and the like; not a parole officer type of surveillance, but a partnership.
When I speak to corporate groups about “customer care,” I use the phrase “Customer’s don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” That holds true for parents and their kids as well. When did your child ever ask what your S.A.T. or G.P.A. or I.Q. was? While that may be important data, what kids want to know is “Dad, Mom, do you love me – do you care about me?”
This brings me to the world of sports, where the word “role model” is tossed about so lightly. Are professional athletes supposed to be role models? Every one of them? I believe they are; yet, not based solely on their athletic skills, but on their character and behavior. How much will a young person remember about his/her youthful admiration of an athlete’s prowess, when that young person becomes an adult, as well as a parent? Hopefully, they will remember the character of that athlete.
The “role model” tag is not restricted to adults. Peer role models can carry much weight, and influence others seeking ways to better their lives. For example, selection of a captain for a T.E.A.M. needs to be based on strength of character, coupled with potency of athletic skill.
Will you follow this motto: Excellence is good, exemplary is better?
Note: Many feel it’s time to elect an on-field game official to the Pro Football (NFL) Hall of Fame. To vote for nominee Jim Tunney, go to http://www.fanschoice/vote.aspx – scroll through nominee names to find TUNNEY; click on TUNNEY; drag and drop into voting area. You can vote more than once!