Saturday, December 02, 2006

where have all the good role models gone?

i certainly don't know, but i can tell you this... i found 2 yesterday.

as any parent knows- good role models for our kids are scarce these days. you can find an amazing athlete for your child to look up to, but how do they behave off the court? or off the field? kobe bryant is a great example. there was a guy that no one had anything bad to say about on or off the court. and then we all know what happened. in that instant, he became someone in my eyes, that i didn't want blake to look up to anymore. but how do you go about explaining to your child that someone he thought was awesome, sucks in real life?
"yes blake, kobe is an amazing basketball player. but you know what, it's not enough. he has to be amazing off the court too. and he's not. he's not a very nice person off the court."
and in my opinion, you need to be both. you need to be just as amazing off the field as you are on it. because it's not enough to just be a good athlete. you also need to be a good person. and i think it's rare to find both in someone. which is sad, but true.

and then i don't even know where to begin when it comes to the role models for girls in our society. in this day and age where the singers our girls love dress like whores (and act like them) it's so hard to find someone good and nice for them to want to be like. where the actresses are daily tabloid news for their awful behavior, and the toys our girls are supposed to want to play with (bratz dolls anyone?) are wearing next to nothing- what do we have left to give our girls?!?

i don't have the answer. i don't have the solution. i do believe that our kids look up to us, their parents, most of all. i do believe that good behavior begins at home. i do believe that the most influential role models are those of us who are around them the most. i try to be someone that blake can look up to and respect. and as of yesterday, i found 2 more people i'd be thrilled for him to feel that way about.

i spent a large part of my day yesterday with david eckstein and ashley drane. david is a major league baseball player. he is currently on the st. louis cardinals and was the MVP of the 2006 world series. ashley is an actress who has been on shows like drake & josh, phil of the future, that's so raven, and blue collar tv. these are 2 people who are immersed in a world where they could completely lose themselves. they could be those stars that end up on the front page of the tabloids with embarassing pictures, or have stories printed about how awful and rude they are. but, they're not. and you want to know why? because it's not in either of their character to be that way. take their jobs out of the picture completely, and what you have are 2 people who are so genuinely kind and good, it's almost unreal. i believe that if either of them had different careers, nothing about their personalities, or their character, would be any different. you would never know that david was the superstar baseball player that he is. he is so humble and modest. and he's just NICE. there is no ego that follows him around. he doesn't act as if the world owes him what he's getting. if anything, he'd like to give back. i honestly don't know how to put into words how down to earth and cool he was... i mean, the only way i can think of it is, he's someone you'd want to be friends with. they're both someone you'd want to be friends with. ashley is a stand up woman. she is so good hearted, thoughtful and kind. it was truly a joy to spend time with her. i learned from ashley that you can be who you want to be, without sacrificing who you are. you can follow and achieve your dreams without giving up your ideals. the many conversations we had yesterday were priceless. all i can say, and i can't say it enough, is how truly wonderful these 2 people are inside and out. they have good values, cherish their families, and i believe they know what really matters in life.

i'm telling all of you this, because i know as parents, we struggle with finding good role models for our kids. and even though i don't have a daughter, a lot of you do. and maybe you don't know who ashley is, but it's worth it in my opinion for you to find out. if i had a daughter, i'd pay her to adore ashley. and i would definitely buy blake anything david eckstein he wants.

you know what though? these aren't just people for our kids to look up to. these are people that we could all learn something from. humility, humbleness, kindness, being genuine, strength of self and character.... all qualities they both have. in abundance. because it's not only important for our kids to learn these things, some of us could re-learn them as well.


Mieke said...

Thanks for reminding me of how awesome certain "role models" are! It is true, it is so hard to find people that you actually want your kids to look up to. I used to work for a certain NHL team very closely, and some of those guys were not a good example, while others were awesome dads and family guys who I am proud to say my daughter knows and looks up to. It is refreshing to find people who are in the "spotlight" and actually truly shine! I don't follow baseball too much (I'm ducking now), but I will look a little more closely now. Thanks!

Suebob said...

I love David Eckstein, and I imagine that everyone who ever saw him play does, too. He isn't the best hitter or the fastest runner or the best fielder, but he is HIS BEST at all times, and that's what counts. The man plays his heart out, plays like he loves the game.

When we were at spring training, we were buying snacks before the teams took the field to warm up. All of a sudden a roar went up. It was because Ecks came out.

wendy boucher said...

I got to meet Nancy Pelosi, the next Speaker of the House and when I did, I thanked her for providing such a good role model for girls. We need more of them!

Lisa said...

I don't really give a shit about the Cards (blasphemy as I live in St. Louis) but I do like David Eckstein. Seems like a stand-up guy. SO glad you got to meet him and find out he's a good guy.

And I LOVE your holiday slogan there. With tongue... heehee

Lisa said...

You know if you were going to BlogHer next year you could sell "I was molested by the Jennster" t-shirts! I would SO buy one! heehee.

Becky said...

i'm so glad you had a great time and that they were excellent people.

jennster said...

jennster molested me... and i liked it.

jennster grabbed my ass at blogher '07...

i went to blogher and all i got was groped by jennster.


Anonymous said...

You're right. Those are the kind of people that kids need to see and learn about. Unfortunately, in today's society, the media couldn't care less about people like that.

They're too busy telling us about Barry Bonds' steroid allegations - or Gary Sheffield's nearly annual racial tirades - or Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson getting divorced after four months - or Britney Spears trying to give sex education lessons by not wearing underwear - or underage Lindsey Lohan going to AA meetings.


Get Blake an Eckstein jersey. Convert him to being a Cardinals fan - fast.

Her Bad Mother said...

Coooool.... and so nicely put.

AND! GAH! Missed your call-in show! KICKING SELF.

alison said...

Why did you get to have lunch with them?

spidey said...

So awesome! I'm glad there are actually some famous people who kids can look up to. Let's face it though, most true role models are just "regular" people like mom and dad, etc. :)

Lena said...

I've had this issue on my mind alot lately. Perfect timing. Why can't more athletes and actors take their role more seriously?

Mom101 said...

That's just so nice. It's the best feeling to admire someone from afar, then feel they live up to your expectations and beyond.

That's kind of how I feel about Michael Richards.

Loren said...

It's nice to know that there are people that are genuinly nice out there... but it's also nice to know that there are other parents, such as you, who care about their kid's role models. I am one who sometimes panics in the thought that Adrian has to grow up in this cruel world, but the best i can do is try to give him the tools to be a good person and live a happy life.

texas math said...

The coolest thing I heard about Eckstein was when a camera crew followed him around on his daily routine...which led to a stop at a public library so he could check his email (since he doesn't like having a computer at home)...and the guy sitting next to him knew he was someone famous but wasn't sure who he was..I'm guessing the whole using a computer in a public library thing makes you think that you're NOT sitting next to a multi-million dollar baseball player.

Melissa said...

I don't know who that is, but I know I'll be looking her up soon.

This is why little boys still talk about Michael Jordan, because a lot of the newer ones are all about the bling and not much else.

Maya has a serious Mia Hamm thing going on and I'm all for it, that woman is awesome on and off the field. Also May something or another the volleyball player and her teammate Missy. They rock and we've seen them at a few different Aids walks and things here. They can find them and kids tend too find out pretty quick who's real and who isn't.

oh and my vote is for, i went to blogher and all i got was groped by jennster.