Have you ever been sorely disappointed by a role model? Someone you always looked up to because they always seemed to know what to do? They somehow always knew what the answer was. They could seemingly do no wrong. Could be a parent, a celebrity, a teacher… anyone really.
As you grew up perhaps you started noticing more things that you may have been shielded from as a kid. Perhaps you developed the ability to read between the lines, make your own judgments, process and interpret information with more depth.
As we get older our perceptions change. We notice behavioral patterns we didn’t notice before, understand the unspoken. Sometimes we want to be in denial because we don’t want to lose the image that we have of someone… because it hurts us to realize that a role model could have some serious character flaws.
How do we shield ourselves from that disappointment? As an adult we can’t even do anything reactive about it. It’s uncomfortable to feel resentment towards someone for seemingly deceiving us while really they didn’t even have a responsibility towards us. Or did they?
I think there are certain roles in society that are KNOWN to be role models. The second you become a parent or a teacher for example you should know that there are little souls looking up to you and your behaviors to help them navigate their place in the world. Whether you like it or not by becoming someone in a “leading” position you’ve knowingly volunteered to be a role model. Then it is your responsibility to practice what you preach or think many times about your actions.
Because once those following you lose respect for you there isn’t much one can do to bounce back from that. You’ll still be loved because of a lifelong bond. But the severed closeness can never be repaired.
Being a role model is a huge responsibility and one to be taken very seriously. Loud honesty, and a confrontationally clear mind will go a much longer way than polite deceitfulness.
Turning to being the one whose perception has been changed. How you choose to process the information is on you. Ultimately you can learn and grow from it… while choosing how much space to give yourself once you’ve learned what you’ve needed to learn.