No. 840



The American Gen. Arthur G. Trudeau once said, “Character is the total of thousands of small daily strivings to live up to the best that is in us … the final decision to reject what is demeaning to oneself or to others and with confidence and honesty to choose the right.”
Contrary to what some would have us believe, character does still matter. In these days when it seems the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket, it is more vital than ever for those of us who understand this truth to have a speaking part in the play.
If you are a faithful reader, you know that I have never claimed to be perfect, but rather just a sinner who has been saved by God’s amazing grace. If you will really tune me in, I have some thoughts to share that could make a real difference in the lives of countless people in the coming months and years.
I would like to issue a challenge to everyone that will read this column to become a role model, if you are not already one. This is to say an example that others can look up to and have a desire to pattern their lives after. We can begin with the simple premise that a better world begins with you and me. We should also understand that we don’t have to tear others down to build ourselves up.
In case you are not sure, or do not fully understand what I am talking about, a role model is a person others look up to. The key word here is “up,” as we are talking about winners in the game of life and not losers. It is also important to understand that, regardless of our mistakes and sins of the past, we can make a fresh start in the confidence that over time we can make a real difference. Let’s face it, we can’t do anything about the past -- it is gone forever. However, we can try to make amends to those we may have wronged in some way. If you owe them money, pay it back. If you have offended someone, say, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?”
At this point I would like to list a few qualities that a role model should have at the very core of their lives. What I am talking about applies to both men and women. It’s a proven fact that the people who have had the most influence on our lives are our parents. I am truly amazed at the vast numbers of parents who cannot figure out why their children later get in trouble and do not turn out to be productive and successful human beings. The fruit does not fall far from the tree.
To be a good role model, consider these qualities.1. Honesty: to be honest with others we must first be honest with ourselves. Are you basically an honest person? 2. Truthful: When we don’t tell the truth, we are building our lives on sand, and it will not stand. 3. Responsible: What we should understand is there is no free lunch. Someone must pick up the check and winners and role models pick it up more than their share. 4. Kindness: Every good role model has a spirit of kindness as they are grateful for what others have done for them. 5. Compassion: We should have compassion for others when they are hurting, and this includes animals. We may need to give some people a hand-out before we can give them a hand-up. 6. Consistent: Without fanfare, be fair and consistent in our dealings with others. Most of us dislike a wishy-washy person who cannot make up their mind. 7. Be a Hard Worker: It is easier for most of us to out-work people that to out-smart them. 8. High Moral and Ethical Standards: It is our dealings and what others see in our lives that help them decide if we are a role model they can look up to and follow.
I believe you’ll agree that good role models possess these qualities. How do you stack up?
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)