Role Models

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana recently wrote, “All people — regardless of their job or role in society — have the responsibility to notice when they are viewed as a role model and live up to that responsibility. No excuses. That admiring kid of today could be a political leader, athlete, parent or teacher of tomorrow.”

Excellent sentiment, but how often is it put into practice?  As a young man on the rodeo circuit, my mentor often advised me to remember that my behavior, in and outside the arena, good or bad, will be remembered.  Bad behavior like a hissy fit, foul language, yelling or jerking on a horse anywhere near an arena is always seen and remembered.

And when I became a father, I took it to heart, as we all know that our kids are open sponges, who will repeat anything we say at any time while doing an excellent impersonation of us.  And I gave my sons, as well as my daughter in law today, plenty of feedback on how not to behave in public or private!

Governor Jindal’s quote was used in an article for CNN titled, “Letter to the new Congress; Beware the ethical snares of Washington.” I usually take the Irish approach to politics / politicians in general, in that they’re all crooked liars.  Obviously, that is not the case; but the very definition of politics is compromise.  And compromise is always a good thing, especially when decided on a restaurant at dinner time.  However, compromise (political & business) comes too often in exchange for expediency.  Expediency is defined at as “a regard for what is politic or advantageous rather than for what is right or just; a sense of self-interest.”  And most politicians fail miserably in dodging the trappings of Washington DC in order to be expedient.

For us of the uneducated masses, it’s best that we start with being good role models for our spouses and children and families and friends and peers and acquaintances and strangers, . . . someday perhaps a politician might see how it’s done.

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