Mentoring and Role Models

I just got back from seeing The Karate Kid at the theatre, and while I enjoyed the movie, it brought up an interesting thought in my head about why the movie is so successful: the main character is taught how to overcome the major issue in his life by a mentor.

Thinking back, I’ve always wanted a mentor in my life, someone that would give me advice, and help me through the hard times. I constantly tried to find someone, even now, I still feel like I am searching for someone that can help me get to that next level, either in my personal life or in my work.

Growing up, my mom tried to constantly force the idea that my Uncle should be my role model, but in order to model yourself after anyone, you have to know them, and my uncle doesn’t really fit for that single reason.

It is amazing how few role models, and mentors there are in life, and because of this hole in society, it is no wonder that counselors, psychologists, and even self help gurus get so much attention and make so much money. People are trying to find someone to fill that void.

Some people probably assume that parents should be the mentors and role models for their children, and I think in an ideal world, that would be the case, but my generation, some of the generation born before me, and most of the generation born after me are all suffering due to a society that puts both parents into the working world, continues to pile on financial stress, and doesn’t provide anyone with the proper channels for relieving stress, promoting health, or feeling valued.

What a strange, messed up world we live in.


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  1. Stephanie

    I always wondered how people could use athletes as role models. I have never thought of an athlete, or a movie star, or a famous singer as a ‘role model’ for any number of reasons but the biggest one of course being that I don’t actually know them, and they don’t have the faintest idea who I am. When people talk about how they have to behave because they’re perceived as a role model to kids, it’s something that to this day I simply don’t grasp.

    I realize this has very little to do with your post, but it’s still something that’s bounced around in my head over the years. If someone were to ask me who I idolize, or who I look up to as a role model, I wouldn’t even know how to answer, because I just don’t see things that way.

  2. David Peralty

    I agree with you to a point. I understand athletes simply because they are top tier competitors, and if you take away their personal life, and focus completely on their skills at their chosen physical activity, I think it could be a great role model for some kids. A simple less of “work hard at something and you too can achieve success”. Beyond that though… I totally agree with you. I see role model meaning “someone I can model myself after” and most athletes, movie stars, and singers don’t fit that role at all.

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