Role models for society

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

In society, role models play a very important role in deciding the future of our children. Good role models will inspire children to inculcate the right values, which would further lead to a healthier and robust society.
The earliest role models for children are parents and teachers. Parents and teachers play a very important role in the initial grooming of children, leading to children wanting to emulate them. If parents and teachers teach or exhibit good qualities and values, children get positively inspired at a young age.
Movies and media also play an important role in selection of role models. Many children aim to become pilots after watching movies like ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Aradhana’. Many want to become soldiers after watching war movies like ‘Border’ and ‘Behind Enemy Lines’.
Children are impressed by many things. Big cars, big houses and lots of property impress children. An easy life and a high-flying lifestyle are big motivators. Rich people are powerful; money moves things and influences decisions.
As they grow up, children observe and learn. When they observe many people amassing disproportionate wealth and property and find them getting away, they realize that they can also become such a person without major risks. They decide to emulate them.
As per McGregor’s Management Theory X, human beings are basically lazy and do not want to work. If one can achieve name and fame without working hard, then why work and waste energy? Learning from society, many children start changing their childhood aims in their teenage years.
Today, very few children want to be farmers, scientists, mathematicians, research scholars, pilots, soldiers or entrepreneurs. Since children observe many people becoming rich and powerful without being exposed to major risks to their careers and lives, they end up choosing such professions with easy access to public money.
On the flip side, can becoming a thug or a thief be an aim in life? Does any child want to become a Dawood Ibrahim or a Phoolan Devi? Do parents or teachers want their children to become mafia bosses or dons? After all, getting punished and jailed at the twilight of life would not be one’s aim in life!
Many modern and civilized nations imbibe and practice strong traits like honesty, integrity, discipline, sincerity, etc. These successful societies have many strong role models and leaders exhibiting these strong values. In these societies, these strong values are exhibited by many political leaders also.
Does our society have the right role models? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)