A friend of mine recently told me that she thinks of me as a role model. I was somewhat taken aback, envisaging all the times I walk into lamp posts, bump into people and generally make a fool of myself. That wasn’t what she meant. My friend was talking about how I have embraced challenges and have clear principles and moral values. She wasn’t saying I’m Superwoman, she was saying I’m one of the many women she looks to for inspiration in everyday life. I felt humbled and honoured.
This set me thinking about who we call our role models and heroes. As a teenager, I had photos of film stars and pop stars on my wall and looked up to them. On many occasions I had felt let down when stories of their escapades had hit the headlines. What sort of role models had I set myself? Later, my role models became men and women I knew in real life.
Like my friend, I sought out people who set an example for me in their personal and professional conduct. One of my greatest role models is a dear, dear friend of mine who worked herself out of a drug habit and prostitution to be a single mum. All the battles that woman has faced, and she is still going strong. I love her for sharing her story with me, for her courage and for making a choice.
Another of my role models was a woman who died at the grand age of 102. She shared with me the stories of her heartbreaks. She had lost so much, yet she dared open up her heart to love again. I love her for her vibrant heart and for her faith in humanity.
Yet another friend of mine is way up there on my list of role models for having time for people. He will tell you himself that he’s just an ordinary bloke, but he always, always has time for those who need him. I love him for his patience, his generosity of spirit and for his capability to love others.
These are ordinary people who go about their lives, just like you and I. Yet something about them sets them apart in my book, something about them makes me look to them for inspiration and guidance. And now my friend looks to me for the same.
So I’ve been thinking that this is perhaps a good way to change the world. By looking to people around us for inspiration, guidance and strength, we’re keeping it real. We’re also extending a network of support, of love and of strength between us. What if we all looked for three people who inspire us? And what if they in turn looked for another three? I can see the love spreading, the peace and forgiveness spreading throughout the world. We can change the world. Let’s be the best role models we know how, and make it happen!
Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you from the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild