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Being happy isn’t the same as being a role model

A role model is what you become when you choose to live your life in conformity with exemplary standards. It’s a reflection of how decent, dignified, or distinguished you are in the eyes of others.

You can’t be a role model unless other people look up to you. You might consider yourself to be a role model based on your intentions, but society gets to have a say as to whether you’re held up as one of their examples or not. If others regard you as too irreverent or too controversial, then they may relegate you to a non-role model status.

Being a role model is risky business. It requires very good PR, a little luck, and lots of personality branding.

And even then, EVERYONE will say or do SOMETHING at SOME POINT that will cause SOMEONE SOMEWHERE to define them as a bad example for others.

ALL role models are despised by SOME communities.

Barack Obama is a great example of this. He is the image of how far our country has progressed AND how much it’s regressed, depending on who you’re listening to. He embodies the very qualities we want the next generation to embrace AND he is the template of all that we should avoid, depending on who you’re listening to.

Being a role model is a funny game.

This is all very different from happiness.

Happiness is the by-product of how well YOU perceive, process, react, and respond to YOUR experiences.

You can be happy whether society considers you to be one of its heroes or not. You don’t need anyone’s agreement, admiration, or approval to enjoy your life. No one gets a vote when it comes to your well-being, unless you choose to give them one.

I’ll leave it in your hands to decide what’s important to you.

If you want to be a role model, go ahead.

Just don’t let anyone convince you that you need to be some kind of example for them or their cause in order to live a fulfilling life.


T.K. Coleman

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