Who are your role models? Who do you look up to? Who do you wish to emulate or even trade places with? Who are you enthused or excited by? Who is an encouragement to you?
I don’t know about you, but over my lifetime, my list of those who I’ve looked up to or wanted to emulate has changed. When I was young, the list included Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, and Jack Lambert (yes…I’m a Pittsburgh Steeler fan). As I got older and engaged in my business career, I endeavored to emulate business leaders, both local and national.
Most Look to the Rich and Famous
Although it’s always been the case where people would imagine living the lives of the rich and famous, I think that we’ve reached a level of absolute craziness. Whether it be big-time actors, athletes, musicians, or models, the wealthy, the prominent, politicians, or dignitaries, it seems that more and more of society is fixated on being someone else.
We live in a society where it’s not good enough to be who we are. The secular world tells us that to be happy, we need to achieve worldly success, which to most is defined by what I refer to as the 4 Ps…Prominence, Possessions, Pleasure, and People. We are influenced by what we see in the movies and on TV (including reality shows), in magazines, in blogs and videos, and on social media, that the way to be happy and fulfilled is through fame and fortune. And we buy into it. We look to the rich and the famous, believing that their lives are so much better than ours’.
The truth is that their lives aren’t. In fact, most often they have the same challenges we do (if not more so), often compounded by their wealth and prominence (believe it or not).
The Best Examples for Us
Can I make a suggestion? Let’s be looking to those who can really be great examples for us. How about people with courage, vision, persistence? How about those who exude love? And as opposed to the current day, let’s look to history.
As I’ve grown, I now look to those of virtue and valor to emulate. Picking from the 1800s and 1900s in US history, two that immediately come to mind are Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., both of whom had absolute courage of their convictions, fought tremendous odds, and ultimately made significant impacts. What great role models.
Our Savior and the Saints
From a faith perspective, the choice is rather obvious…our Savior and the Saints. Jesus Christ is the single most compelling figure in world history. Filled with:
…there’s no one greater who we can aspire to be more like than our Lord and Savior.
In addition, we have great examples in the Saints, starting first with our Mother Mary, who was the first Disciple. Mary was clearly led by the Spirit, always saying “yes” to the will of God. Then there were Saints Peter and Paul. Denying our Lord and often being His biggest contrarian among the Apostles, Jesus chose Peter to build the Church.
Paul, formerly Saul, made it his early mission to kill Christians, prior to Jesus blinding him as he approached Damascus. Having experienced conversion, he was baptized. Paul then traveled extensively, by land and sea, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ to whoever would listen. Being beaten and thrown in prison didn’t stop him.
What About You?
Have you ever considered this…Peter and Paul sinned dramatically against our Lord. Yet Jesus picked them to lead others in making a significant impact on the Church and the world. What does that say about us, yes as sinners, and what our potential is?
Others to emulate include Saints Monica, Therese of Lisieux, and Teresa of Calcutta, or Saints Padre Pio, Maximillian Kolbe, Francis of Assisi, and Mark the Evangelist (among many others). The lives of the Saints are fascinating, filled with excitement and accomplishment, peace, joy, and fulfillment.
We are all called to be Saints. We just need the right role models.
Please comment to me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!