Sunday, February 21, 2016

The importance of role models in my life

Most of us do have role models in our life. For some of us, they are members of our family. For some of us our biggest role model is one of our friends. For some of us, the biggest role models are famous people from various careers. Then there are people who claim to not have any role model - but that is a different story.

To me, my role models were mainly people from the world of music and acting. I simply had nobody in my family who was suitable as a person to look up to. There were alcoholics and people who stood by, doing nothing. As a young kid, my escape was the world of music, books, and TV. In there, I found people who had courage, who were well-spoken, encouraging, creative, and in a way always there for me.

The first two important role models who entered my life were Captain Jean-Luc Picard, portrayed by the fantastic Patrick Stewart, and Michael Jackson. Jean-Luc Picard was someone I wished to be my father - and you have to admit the man makes a rather good role-model with his ethics on the show. Sure, he did not like kids, but I always hoped he'd like me. I was too young to understand that the man did not really exist. I also believed that Michael Jackson would one day walk into my life and get me out of there. Hence I started learning English at a very young age, teaching myself with the help of music.

The next big influence came in the form of the warrior princess Xena. I was older then, and understood the difference between reality and fantasy a lot better (but I still hadn't given up on the idea that I would one day meet Michael Jackson). I loved the show, and Xena was a good role model - she was a strong woman in a world dominated by men.

When I got older, I also started to admire Lucy Lawless, the actress behind Xena, for her activism, her care for the planet, and her general attitude. I was lucky enough to see her live twice. What Xena taught me was that you could get through everything, and that even with a lot of darkness in your past, you can still become successful and change your life around.

Then Ian McKellen was added to the mix. I initially refused to watch Lord of the Rings because I loved the books, and was sure nobody but Patrick Stewart could be Gandalf. I just thought the movies would be horrible. Fortunately, I was wrong - and became interested in learning more about Ian McKellen. How lovely it was to see how he and Patrick Stewart became such good friends over time!

The latest two additions to my list of inspiring people were Darren Hayes (I have written about him here) and Boy George (I have recently written about him here). Both of them came into my life at times during which I needed motivation and inspiration that nobody in my immediate surroundings was and is able to give me.

While there are also others I like a lot, and who play a role in my life, the above mentioned people seem to have entered my life at very important times. They all had and still have important messages and lessons to me. They - unintentionally - helped me a lot in my life. Some of those people I have met, some I have not (yet) met or seen live. Michael Jackson I never got to see (because my mother did not allow me to go to the only concert I could've seen - just half an hour away by train). However, I got to see a fantastic tribute artist called Kenny Wizz (and unlike Michael, he actually sang everything LIVE) - who also came into my life at a time during which I needed motivation.

Some might call it coincidence, but I am not so sure about it. Those people all came into my life when I needed someone exactly like them. I do not think that the appearance of Boy George in my life is totally random (though it might seem to from the outside). After all, the man has been around for decades. He could've become of interest to me at any other time in my life - so why now? What can I learn from him? Persistence? Another lesson of how you can get up again after going through some tough shit?

Did some role models come into your life just when you needed them? If yes, who were they and what did they teach you?

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