I was watching the national lottery show and a particular rapper, who recently rose to fame in South Africa was on. And of course he had that rapper swag thing going on wearing his sunglasses in studio. At the end of the show they asked him to say a message to encourage the youth as a role model.  “Ah! Fascinating stuff I thought to myself”. It wasn’t what he said that fascinated me because honestly I don’t remember much of what he said…

What fascinated me was the thought of how society overly admires people in the media (actors, singers, soccer players, televangelist, etc.) sometimes even boarding on the bridge of “worship”.

I remember watching Michael Jackson concerts and Justin Bieber concerts and marvelled at the millions of women shedding floods of tears even to a point where some of them would collapse out of sheer excitement.

It’s so amazing how we place so much emphasis on famous people to a point that if they make a mistake (which they entitled to make as human beings) the world is shattered.

The one question that I have always asked is, yes we love them and yes they are great at what they do, but, why the exalted status of being deemed role models?

Is it because we see them through the lens of the “electric box” that they are deemed role models?  Are we not responsible for creating “false realities” with our young people? We have fed them the notion that they should only look to be like the people they see on their television screens.

It’s true that most of the people we see on our television screens are doing the things they love, but at the end of the day, they are also “working” for their bread and butter just like the rest of us. We have millions of ordinary men and women who make significant contributions to society and most of them, the world would never know. Now don’t get me wrong, I really love some famous people as well and I celebrate them, but, when someone makes a mistake I don’t live my life shattered because I acknowledge that everyone is playing their part in this lifetime.

I really think we should rethink the concept of excessively exalting famous people to being role models and I think it’s time that we all acknowledge that somehow everyone is a role model to somebody and that we all ought to live our lives with a consciousness that whatever we do in life we are passing the baton for the continual development of humanity.

 

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