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.