I was listening to Pandora the other day when J. Cole's "No Role Modelz" came on. There's nothing like a smooth, mellow beat, deep, thought-provoking lyrics and a long drive to lose yourself in. This song in particular got me thinking about the type of values and morals we have versus the ones we used to have when we were younger. I mean, let's face it - the world today is nothing like the one we (well most of us) grew up in. Neighborhoods were safer, people were more genuine, and the future seemed so bright. These days, you can't walk past a newsstand without seeing stories about mass shootings, bombs, corruption, or war. Turn on the TV and it's all about false reality. Fake people with shallow ambitions talking, arguing, and going on about nothing.
We live in a messed up world where the Kardashians, other "reality" TV stars, and celebrity wannabes with no talent are role models. It seems that everyone and their sisters are taking supplements, getting surgery, or doing some ridiculous challenge to make their butts, breasts, and lips bigger. Honestly, that's too much work. And for what? Girls posting sexy photos on social media and the internet to get attention, guys using "bitch" and "hoe" like it's the synonym for girl. It's getting to be too much already. Girls and guys using each other for money, fame and selfish reasons. And these same people turn around and complain that there are no more "good guys" or "good girls" out there for them. We're all getting too self-absorbed and selfish, thinking that looking a certain way or having x amount of money will make our lives better and we'll be happy forever, but deep down knowing that it won't.
I'll be the first to admit that I too got caught up in the frenzy of reality TV stars, designer brands, and the party-girl lifestyle. Lindsey Lohan, Tila Tequila, Paris Hilton, I was jaded by it all. I forgot about my childhood dreams and goals and turned into a shallow, selfish, not-so-nice person. I no longer cared about anything or anyone else but myself and what I wanted. It took me a while to realize that no matter how many followers or designer bags I had, I wasn't very happy. I've always known that I was meant to do something more with my life. To create, inspire, build, help, love, and be loved.
My role models growing up were Princess Diana, Jane Goodall, Mother Teresa (seriously), Audrey Hepburn, Aaliyah and Maya Angelou. These women made me want to be better, not because of their popularity or how they looked, but because of the way they lived their lives. Putting others before themselves, showing kindness and class even when others were putting them down, working hard towards their goals, and inspiring others to do what they loved with passion.
These days, (with the exception of Beyonce, Sophia Amoruso and Lizzy Velasquez) it's hard for me to think of someone that I would consider to be a genuine role model. Someone that I wouldn't mind my kids aspiring to be someday. All I can do is keep my role models (adding Beyonce, Sophia Amoruso and Lizzy Velasquez to that list) and try to live my life being as honest, kind, generous, loyal, hard working, confident, classy, smart, and inspirational as I can. Who knows, maybe one day my kids will aspire to be more like me.
Who is/are your role model(s)? What qualities do you feel a role model should have? Do you ever find yourself lost in thought after listening to a song?