I’m realizing that I put too much emphasis on the integrity of others while devaluing my own. It became abundantly clear to me recently after being incredibly disappointed by someone I looked up to. It had nothing to do with me and the person could probably care less about my aspirations. He didn’t ask to be my role model so shame on me for putting too much emphasis on it. To be clear, by role model I’m referring to an every day person, not some celebrity or personality.
I grew up with no role models and while I’ve always found people to admire, I’ve never really found anyone I’d considering modeling my behavior after. I guess after finding someone I would model my life after and subsequently being disappointed by said person’s personal agenda, it was a huge let down. Now I think I might understand how a kid might feel when his hero turns out to be a fraud. And maybe on some level I still see it that way. I never had heroes growing up so I’m just now getting a taste of that disappointment. On the surface that must sound profoundly sad. Maybe it’s why I was so upset over it.
Anyway, I digress. Afterwards, I realized I don’t value my own system of morals enough. I think partly because not catering to the whole puritanical restrictions on sex and oh yeah, being gay too. lol Seriously though, I grew up feeling like my brand of integrity and morals weren’t good enough for others because they deviated from the norms. They worked for me, didn’t hurt others and gave me goals to strive for. For a long time that was enough for me. But not anymore.
I’ve struggled most of my adult life to be a better man. And depending on who you ask, I’ve done a pretty good job of getting there. Or at least I think so. And I need to aspire less to be like others and more like the man I am. I am not perfect by no means. And lawd knows I’m an incredibly flawed human being. But I try and that is the point. I’m guilty of having selfish wants/desires. I’m guilty of indulgences on said desires/wants. But I’m also able to distinguish between what is my own agenda/desires and what is right. I admit to myself when something I’m doing is not necessarily in line with my goals. I accept it and work to over come it. Frankly, that objectivity has been a defining feature in my blog for the last 9 or so years. It took me awhile to see it. Having it pointed out to me repeatedly by others over the years has certainly helped me see it more clearly.
As I move beyond my disappointment, I find I no longer have a desire to find new role models. Besides being 42 years old and well into adulthood, I am content with my brand of integrity and morals. And as I move forward, I will aspire to be more the man I want to be and live by example. I no longer need a role model. I am the model and that is just fine with me.