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Role Models

September 17, 2018

      Role models. They come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Your role model might exemplify a completely different set of values than mine does. Yours might sport a suit and work nonstop at a major business. Yours might wear a jersey and run around on a field. Yours might be a sweet grandma or super cool cousin. Yours might even be your peer, your friend. All of this goes to say that role models characterize the morals, beliefs, and ideas we want to embody as well. Therefore, yours might look entirely different than your neighbor’s as each of us prioritize things differently. In addition to the endless variety of types of role models, one can also have more than one. As we all have many priorities, you might have a role model in where area of our life and another in a different area. Naturally, as humans, we aren’t perfect in every way of life; this truth is the same of our role models. We can’t hold them to the standard of perfection just as we can’t do that to ourselves. Therefore, it’s natural to look to different people in our lives as role models for different areas as no one can completely excel in every part of life. Now that we have covered the basis of what having a role model looks like, I would love to get to why I am spending time writing this blog about them. I have grown up with parents that have always encouraged me to surround myself with people who have my best interests at heart and to spend time learning from people who have valuable lessons to instill in me from their own experiences. Therefore, I have always done my best to be intentional with who I spend my time with and who I allow to influence the development of my thoughts and beliefs. Over time, my parents have become some of my biggest role models. My mom has shown me the irreplaceable worth of being a loyal friend, a welcoming host, and an involved mom. While I love my mom and could dedicate an entire blog just to how much she means to me, I am going to speak about my dad’s impact on my life as my biggest role model in self-discipline. My dad, Kirk, says there are only two pains in this world: the pain of regret and the pain of discipline. You have to choose one or the other. You either suffer from the guilt and shame of past mistakes or opportunities you missed, or you choose the hard path, perhaps even the unbeaten path, by making the right decisions and staying true to your own morals through personal self-discipline. The first option, the pain of regret, creates long-lasting pain from a series of short-minded, wrong decisions. The second option, the pain of disciple, is a daily, deeply intentional choice to go against the easy temptations of the world in order to stay on the path in which direction you wish to go. These two simple, yet complex, decisions have shaped the entire course of my dad’s life. It’s his story to tell, yet in short, he spent half of his life making the choices that built up his pain of regret. It was not until he allowed himself the time to recognize this burdening pain that he began to choose the pain of discipline instead. Sometimes, we need to hit rock bottom to allow space for the stillness and self-reflection needed to choose the pain of discipline. This change represented a complete 360 shift in his life, one I am forever grateful for as I probably wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for that decision. Throughout my entire life, I have had the great privilege of watching my dad daily face the temptations of this world yet choose the pain of discipline instead of momentary satisfaction. His pursuit of his passion to help men in recovery from addiction has been the most humbling and impactful journey on my life outside of my own experiences. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing him so bravely and strongly chase that passion into reality. His drive to love the men that have been stigmatized and outcasted by society, to call the weak to insurmountable strength, and to ignite the inner warrior inside of every man, despite their past, amazes me. Truly, I am not more proud in anyone than I am in my dad. All of this goes to say, I encourage each of you to search for those people in your life that you admire but, more importantly, those that you desire to have influence your own character’s journey and development. This is because they will; their presence will affect you. True role models will push you to be better, to do better despite what you perceive as your own limitations. They exemplify the values you desire to hold strength to, and they make decisions according to them. Therefore, we all need role models, people we can look up to who live out the principles we strive to obey in our own lives, and from these role models, we will gain relationships from which we have the privilege of learning.

With love,


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