My Hero, Princess Diana: The Importance of Role Models

My hero, princess diana Identifying Role Models

I don't know how often kids look to role models these days. It seems to me that there are fewer and fewer worthy celebrated people whether a child considers movie stars, politicians, business leaders or athletes to emulate success, acumen or fame. We have seen too many athletes, stars, business wizards and elected officials tumble from their high stages in the last decade.

In our digital, online, always connected world fame is often fleeting and is frequently fickle. Yet our young ones need someone to admire; and someone worthy of this admiration. They should be able to say, "I want to be like so-and-so when I grow up" about someone full of strength, know-how and civility. A role model should be respectable and respectful. So, you can see the predicament. How many such larger-than-life figures are there out there who deserve this kind of adoration?

No, a role model certainly does not have to be a movie star, an athlete earning 7 million a year or the President of the United States. There are wonderful role models working in schools, in courthouses, fire stations, auto repair shops, in cubicles and countless other careers across this great country. But stop for a second and think back to your childhood. Your mom, dad, uncle, grandma, cousin or neighbor might have been hard-working, brilliant, innovative or deserving role models, and you probably appreciate these people for how they contributed to your upbringing and success as a human being now, but as a child you probably looked beyond these everyday folks to the larger-than-life stars.

Memories of a Childhood Hero

My "star" role model was Princess Diana. Chuckle if you will, but it's true. My first encounter with Princess Di was her wedding. My neighbor invited me over to watch the wedding on TV with her. That's all it took for me. I was captivated by her beauty, her mystery, her style, her grace and her title. For years, I made scrap books devoted to her; I bought books and magazine emblazoned with photos of her; and I wrote her a 7 page letter in large, scrawling 10 year old handwriting. And she replied. I was ecstatic to say the least.

Was she perfect? No, and none of us are. But Princess Di was a strong, gracious, giving, devoted person. When she died I was in law school. I had moved on from my days of reading every tidbit I could find and analyzing every photo of her showing off her latest styles. Even still, I remained glued to my television throughout that sad day and the next. I went back through my books filled with her image and thought about all she had meant to me, and I grieved her death.

When I was in college, I spent a glorious summer going to school in London. I recall visiting Kensington Palace {still her residence at the time} and being so very content just knowing Princess Di could be there somewhere in that sprawling structure too. I know I'm not alone in my adoration for Princess Diana. She meant so much to so many people for so many reasons across the world. I'm glad to have had this role model, and I've been thinking a lot about her lately with William and Kate's wedding date fast approaching.

A Star Athlete

My Darling Boys, just 4.5 and 2.5 years old already have a wonderful role model. He's a quiet man of just enough words. He's young, yet has accomplished so much. He's a hard worker. He's cool {to say the least} under pressure. He's kind. He's attentive. He answers their many questions. He's a cousin. He's a major league baseball player. He's a pitcher.

My Darling Boys are so blessed to have this man to look up to as a hero; to know; to admire; to cheer for, to want to emulate. At 4.5 years old, Darling 1 wants to follow Cousin Jeff and be a pitcher too. Will he succeed in this dream? Will he keep this dream? Who knows? Jeff did.

The Scoop

Role models are vital to kids' growth, imagination and dreams. It's important that they have positive, uplifting, determined heroes to look up to and follow. It isn't always easy to find such folks to admire, but they're out there and your kids will find them. Who was your hero? Do your kids have one or two or twelve? Over and out...


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