Monday, August 11, 2008

Role Models

This morning was a taste of Autumn. The temperatures were in the 50's. It felt great and I loved it. Show me some pumpkins!

One of the small gifts I try to give myself on the weekends is to never get out of bed before the sun rises. Most workdays I get out of bed while it is still dark and I am never happy about it. Sunrise seems the perfect time for Michael to rise. Granting myself this small gift I was able to get full nights of sleep on Friday and Saturday nights before spending my afternoons chasing Mummy's and helping Batman catch the Joker. Since it was my son's last weekend at home, I spent my Saturday and Sunday afternoons going to the movies with my wife and son. Along with reading books and listening to music, going to movies is one of my favorite things to do. I realize that most of what I love to do is passive in nature and my mind is usually more active than my body but it's who I am and what I love. Books, music, and movies are not as exciting as mountain climbing but they're not as dangerous either. Over the weekend nine people died trying to climb the mountain called K2. Today my son is leaving for a week long retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani before heading back to Indianapolis for another year of seminary training. Even though Nick spent much of the summer living at a local parish, he was home every weekend and now it may be a couple of months before I see him again. He successfully passed all his summer school classes with good grades so that will allow him to graduate from college at the end of this upcoming school year and to move up to the next level of seminary training. My guess is that he could be a priest within the next five years or so.

I did not see Chloe this weekend but I certainly thought about her when I saw preview's to the new Madagascar movie. For all your parents and grandparents out there, it comes out on November 7th.

Recently I wrote about parents being role models for their children. Who are the role models for parents and other adults? Hopefully, our own parents, even in their weaknesses, have been role models for us. My own parents have been together for nearly 60 years. They were not perfect but they did the best they could in the circumstances that life gave them. They raised six children with a lot fewer resources than I have had and we all turned out fine. When I look at people I am attracted to as role models, many of them are holy men and women and people with artistic natures. Unfortunately, many artistic types and entertainers have not led lives that should be emulated. Ironically, art is often born from pain and dysfunction. Not all artists are dysfunctional but certainly a large number lead troubling personal lives. Even many holy types have led extreme lives that may not have always been healthy or balanced. Some of my role models for living are Jesus, Buddha, Francis of Assisi, Gandhi, Thomas Merton, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Dalai Lama. However, I am also inspired by everyday, common people. Anyone who is righteous, honest, kind, compassionate, spiritual or poetic in their view of life is an inspiration to me. People don't have to be perfect for me to admire them. I am attracted to artistic types, not for their lifestyles, but for their depth of vision and feeling for the sometimes hidden beauty of life. Art brings forth my deepest feelings about many things. I love people who cause my soul to stir within me whether its through their words, painting, sculpture, acting , or musical talent. These are just a few thoughts. Hopefully, they will help you to think about your role models and why they are your role models. Finally, are you a role model for others? I am not only speaking about your children, if you are a parent, but are you a role model for all those around you?


Anonymous said...

A client reminded me this morning that children are great role models too.

Michael Brown said...

I couldn't agree more. My granddaughter is a little Zen Master and a real role model to me.