When you are very young, if you are lucky your parents will be your first heroes. Your role models and a major influence on how you will turnout in later years. As you grow up quite often you rebel against your parents and look for some other hero to worship.
Whether it be a musician, sportsman, actor or some other topical figure. Oscar Pistorius the latest person who you would have thought would be someone everyone could look up to, for what he has achieved, has ended up shattering his image whatever happens in his trial. After the Olympics had finished last year my kids talked about four athletes from Track and Field - Bolt, Farah, Ennis and Pistorious. All four you would have thought could be held up and put on a pedestal as to what is possible with hard work and dedication. You just never now what happens behind closed doors.
My question is are there any more true heroes still left for my children to emulate? Or will they all let you down in the end? It seems that every week someone who we all look up to ends up being a let down. They are either caught on drugs, involved in extra marital affairs, committing crimes or are only famous for being famous, with no obvious talent.
One other thing that always irritates me is how celebrities glamorize things which are bad for children smoking and drinking and fill our screens with overt sexual imagery to advertise their products. Paper media is particularly guilty of glamorizing celebrities. They will call a celebrity who has put on a few pounds in weight, then on the next page wonder why a teenage girl is anorexic.
Whats the answer? I am not sure. Stop children watching and listening to all forms of media? Home school them so they have no peer pressure? Or just hope they find their own way through life and do the best you can?
What I would like to see is anyone who makes money out of children -( pop stars, actors, sports stars, musicians, retailers etc.) take more responsibility for what they do in public. The media be more responsible for what they chose to broadcast and print and think of the wider implications of what they do. The press seems to love being judgemental but like politicians do not like being judged themselves.
I am looking for examples of people in the public eye who we can trust to be role models. As Pistorius shows you can never be certain who to choose but I hope a few of you who read this may give us some ideas for a top ten.
A few I am thinking at the moment are Lionel Messi, Jessica Ennis, Ant & Dec, Stephen Hawking, JK Rowling, Jamie Oliver, Jessie, Taylor Swift.
I am sure there are more out there.
The trouble is the ones children seem to follow are the bad role models.
Thanks for reading.