One of my students from a previous semester stopped-by to see me the other day. She will soon graduate and is amazed at how quickly her time at our college has gone by. Soon, she will be her next stop in her academic journey, a local university where she will complete her studies in accounting.
She is the first person in her family to go to college. “When you were a child, what did you envision yourself doing as an adult?” I asked. She thought for a second, and then said, “I always wanted my own business just like my Uncle Lonnie,” she replied. “I guess he was my role model.”
Role models are indeed important things. They inspire us to set goals and plan for our futures. However, isn’t it funny that we don’t ask older individuals about their current and future role models? It is as though, once we reach forty, having a role model is seen as being a too-optimistic view of the future. Society has brainwashed us to believe that optimism in an older person is futile.
I disagree. First of all, none of us knows how long we have on Earth. The younger person could have a shorter life than the older person. And, who knows? Maybe encouraging future planning by the older person could end-up extending his/her life. Research indicates that a positive mood has a positive impact on telomeres (Power of Positivity, n.d.).
With this in mind, I have chosen one of my future role models: Miss Marple of Agatha Christie fame. I want to end-up being the same sort—unassuming yet inquisitive, stealth yet part of a familiar network of friends and colleagues. She has a great career (sleuthing) that allows her to travel the world and to associate with a variety of people. What’s not to love?
Frankly, life as Miss Marple sounds pretty juicy. I’m not rushing to enter my “Miss Marple age,” but when I get there, I know I will be spending my time in a most interesting way!
Power of Positivity. (n.d.) “Here’s How Your Thoughts Affect Your DNA.” Retrieved from https://www.powerofpositivity.com/heres-how-your-thoughts-affect-your-dna/