Ever since a child, we’ve all been asked in some way or the other who our role model is. At least with me, it was almost always, “Who’s your role model?” or “Who do you want to be like in the future?” Without any hesitation, I had a response ready — even if was different as the years went by. I remember saying my friend’s older sister who was a doctor. Then, it was some celebrity Tamil actor. And then, it was my mom and dad. And then, Shobana Pillai, Anoushka Shankar, Indra Nooyi, Marie Curie…the list goes on and on. I’m not against any of these people — clearly not if I named them as people I respect greatly. They are truly inspirational and have made their own marks in society. Without them or their achievements, society would not be the same. Let me repeat one important part of that: “made their own marks.”
Seriously, humans of the 21st century: we should encourage individuality. From giving elementary students freedom to approach a math problem in their own style to letting more college students design their own majors, these are just some simple ways to start making this happen. Why should we aspire to be like someone else in society? We should be the best of our ability. We need to aspire to be our own pioneers in our achievements. I want to be me and make my mark in the society. I want my name to be respected at any scale. Doesn’t need to global; it can be in my own neighborhood. I want to be and die a person who has stuck to her goals and has made a difference in her own way.
Some take this as being egotistical or narcissistic. So for those who think this, go ahead and just emulate someone else’s success and style of thinking. Chances are high that you’ll only be compared to your role models and expected to do everything like them. Societal pressure is not a joke, and you’ll just put yourself in the center of it. Try to do what your heart and mind say — not what society wants you to say and do. It is hard but worth it.
Make it happen. Do your own thing. Be YOU.
Feel free to share your thoughts about this with me. I am curious as to how others feel about role models and other sources of inspiration.