Your Role as a Role Model

Hebron Blog 5 Photo 1By Abbie Hebron
Distinguished Young Woman of Missouri for 2014

About two months ago, on January 13 to be exact, my life was completely changed. I woke up that morning as Auntie Abbie. My older sister, Alison, and her husband had their first child. Her name is Reese, and she is the cutest, most precious thing I have ever seen in my life. Now, this past weekend I was asked to be Reese’s godmother. {Insert screaming girl voice here.} I was overwhelmed with joy (and quite a load of tears), and now I am anxiously awaiting the baptism of my beloved niece!

I tell you this story to preface a conversation about a recently lingering thought of mine- the importance of role models in our lives. I want to be the best role model I can for Reese, but the thought has been pretty overwhelming so I thought it would be best to discuss it with you.

I cannot even tell you how many times I have been asked who I look up to (or some form of this question), as I am sure you can relate as well. The truth is, when I actually think about it, so many people have influenced my life as a role model. Most of them would probably never even guess that they have. Relatives, friends, and teachers- they’re all amazing people to look up to. You might even find a great celebrity that has touched your life in one way or another. All of these people- the people we admire and strive to be like- have shaped who we are.

I want to start by analyzing the importance of role models. I think the only way to really get my message across is to get on a personal level with you.

Think of the people you look up to, and try to list as many as you can in just a minute. There is no way you can name every single one of these people in 60 seconds. All of these people considered, how different would your life be if they were not in it? Probably very different! Now that you see how many people have influenced you, try to take a minute and think about those that you have touched in some way. This might be a bit harder. You will never possibly know the entire scope of people on this list.

My point is, being a role model is just as important as looking up to a role model. Everyday you meet countless people, and you probably influence (either positively or negatively) a great majority of them. For example, I might influence my close friends and younger sisters by my actions and words, but there are probably people at the classes, stores, and restaurants that I go to that see my actions and are influenced by them in one way or another. This is why it is incredibly important to be aware of your actions at all times. It is so important that you set a good example for the younger generations below you. I know I look up to my grandma, mother, older sisters, and even older friends for advice. Always try to remember that someone is watching you (in the most un-creepy way). What you say, and more importantly what you do, gives a great deal of insight to those who look up to you.

I saw this quote awhile ago, and it has stayed with me every since: “If you even feel like giving up, just remember there’s a little girl watching who wants to be just like you.  Don’t disappoint her.”

That little girl, for me, is my niece, but I know that my actions can affect anyone. Even though the quote is primarily speaking to women, the message can be applied to everyone. Your life is an example to all who you encounter. Make it a great example, one that inspires them to be the best they can be!

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Abbie Hebron is a college freshman at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri majoring in Dietetics. Originally from O’Fallon, MissouriAbbie was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Missouri for 2014. Learn more about Abbie here!

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