I remember growing up as a young boy and watching people around me, particularly the men. My first role model was my Dad. He was a strong man with big arms who worked really hard and when I was with him I felt safe. I remember learning from him that I needed to work hard so that I could look after my family. Financial security was important to him because he didn’t have that for himself throughout his whole life and I remember him saying it was advice that his Dad had given to him when he was growing up.
Role Models Growing Up
As I grew up I watched other men and looked at what they did and how people responded to them, modelling myself on how some of the men around me acted. I could see that some were recognised for what they did – some were held up as heroes for what they did and others became famous for what they did… it seemed to me that everyone was identified in some way for what they did. I took note of how and why it worked for them and then I would try it for myself.
As I grew into a teenager I realised that younger boys were also modelling themselves on me – even at a young age I could see that I had a big responsibility in this. At times I would ignore this responsibility and ‘act my age’, but if I were to be honest I would always see someone looking up to me, no matter what age I was. How I was or how I chose to be always had an influence on others around me; the only question was whether I wanted to accept that fact or not.
I did my best to always do the ‘right’ thing but sometimes I found this exhausting, and at other times I didn’t live up to what I thought I should be doing or saying. I would change the way I did things the moment someone reacted badly – I wanted everyone to be happy with what I did and to see me as a ‘good person’.
This is how everyone saw my Dad when I was growing up – I heard everyone speak about him and saying he was a ‘nice bloke’ or a ‘good man’; at times they added something negative as well. I wanted people to say this about me too, without the negatives, so I took on board what they said and tried to model myself to be perfect or better than my Dad.
As I grew up I realised there was a flaw in the way I was doing things.
I was constantly trying to keep everyone happy and be the person I thought everyone wanted me to be. It seemed to me what people wanted from me was constantly changing and that what they would see as a ‘good man’ one day, would change the next. I found it harder and harder to live up to the expectations I put on myself.
It was like I could live to be a ‘good man’ for a period of time and ride a wave of people being pleased, but then I would fall off the wave with one bad comment or feeling and I would be depressed or upset for a period of time before I would change how I was so that this didn’t ever happen again… only to do this cycle over and over again.
I could see what I was doing didn’t work – my approach was flawed in some way.
Trying to be a ‘Better’ Man
I watched other men around me and could see everyone had their own method or way of trying to be a ‘better’ man. It seemed like we were all trying to learn from each other: it was like no one really knew what they were doing but would watch each other and if what one man did worked, then others would replicate it for themselves in their own way. It was as if men were guarding what they were doing but also looking sideways to others for something that was ‘better’.
When I was growing up the role models I looked up to never seemed to be consistent in how they lived. For example, I looked up to many sportsmen who were great at sports but their personal lives often seemed to be in turmoil. So I looked at them and realised that I only liked the parts of their lives that worked, I didn’t really like the whole package. I just allowed myself to see the part of their lives that I liked – such as the money and fame – while choosing to ignore the parts that didn’t work.
I have seen many role models who are always looking for some type of acceptance and recognition from the outside world whether for money, fame, or a title of some sort. I have come to realise that this is the exhausting part – when I was looking for this recognition I felt there was a lot of pressure on me. Once I felt I had gained a place in the world or the recognition I needed, I wanted to hold onto it.
I placed these role models above me and tried to get to where they were at, whether it was being successful, wealthy, or popular. I didn’t really mind how I got there, it was just about getting there. When I got there I wanted to stay there and rest and hold onto what I had just achieved. If I didn’t get there I would get upset and feel like a failure; until after some time I saw something else that seemingly worked better and I would chase that in the same way… in a never ending cycle.
A True Role Model
I have come to the understanding that a true role model is someone who inspires others to change something for themselves: not by copying what they have seen from another but by making a true change in themselves and in the way they are living. This change is then lived every day, and not just in one part of their life – it changes in every part of their life.
A true role model does not put on a show or a facade. By living this way and making a change, people feel it as it is, not just as a spoken thing but something that we bring into our body – it’s solid. With this I have found I don’t feel exhausted and it is not something I have to keep up with or constantly be better at, it is all in the way I live in each moment. I don’t have a public face and then a face for my friends and another one for my family. The face I have is a constant through all areas of my life.
We are true role models by the quality we are living from and not by what we can do.
I am a role model, as are all fathers. I see how my children look at me and I watch what they do afterwards: I hear the way they speak and know they are watching everything I do. I don’t tell my children one thing and then do another thing myself. I live what I say first and then I don’t really have to say it at all. I have found that if I do my best to do or say what I feel in any moment then I am better prepared for whatever comes next. This is the way I choose to live and I can see the powerful effect this has had on my family and those around me. It may sound simple – because it is that simple. In this way of living it almost feels in a way that I am a role model by default. This is because the focus isn’t on anything else but the moment I am in.
My children are role models for each other and for me. I watch how the children interact, how they show each other what they do and don’t like. I see how they watch and learn from each other. I have learnt a lot from watching my children, so while I am a role model for them they are in turn equally role models for me.
In the past I assumed being a role model was some kind of achievement… now I can see that it is an ongoing relationship between people.
We can all be and we all are role models in our own way. I have found that in every relationship there is something to learn. In every interaction, whether at home with my wife and children, at work with customers, at a function with friends or at the service station getting petrol, there is something for me to reflect on.
Too often I have looked at the most popular person, the strongest person, the richest person to model myself on, but really we all have a role to play in life at different times.
True role models are everyday people doing everyday things.
I have tried to avoid what seems to be unavoidable and pretend that I didn’t care what I did and not take the full responsibility I have for every part of my life. On the other hand I have also spent years trying to live up to an ideal of what I thought was good and right.
It seems to me now that being a role model is simply about taking responsibility for the choices I make in life, and choosing to be as honest as I can be, without trying to be perfect, and then seeing how everything I do affects those around me in one way or another.
A true role model for me has been Serge Benhayon. I watch what he does and how he does it and I am continually touched and inspired. There is no end to how this one man can do so much, but it is how he does it that is the inspiring part. The overwhelmingly consistent care I see from him with everyone he meets is truly out of this world. When he speaks and when I watch him I can feel the difference: this is not a man who just talks, this is a man who has walked and lived everything he talks. I have seen the effect this has on people and the respect he has because of the way he lives.
I am inspired by Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and The Way of The Livingness – true role models who inspire me to be the real me.
By Raymond Karam, Man, father and business owner, Goonellabah, NSW
Serge Benhayon, an Amazing Role Model
Being an Elder Role Model
Serge Benhayon, A True Role Model
Thank you Ray, as we can all learn to live and be non-imposing on others, and simply be a loving reflection, from the way we live in the most consistent way possible.
A role model is someone who is not trying to attract recognition for what they do but in the consistent and steady loving way that is who they are.
Absoulutely Mary, as we reflect what we are living and thus set an example that we consistently live.
“We are true role models by the quality we are living from and not by what we can do.”Hear hear Ray so well said, this is a sentence as a society we need to learn from and reflect on.
A role model indeed who inspires by his movements that align to his words is Serge Benhayon
A man can become ill and loaded by his own ideas of what he think he should be, as a society we place a massive burden on our young men to become a type of man that in truth is not real and has no real integrity.
Interestingly Anonymous I was chatting with a group of men recently and the conversation centered on how they know that the expectations society places on them is unrealistic and that they are not encouraged to share what they are really feeling. It was a great conversation to be having with them because they did open up about the demands and burdens they feel and sad too because no one really listens to them or if they do there is that attitude to toughen up and not be pathetic.
This article is a great reminder of our responsibility in life, we are all role models and so what are we role-modelling to our children and those in our communities.
Raymond, this is a great article about role models, it makes me realise in society how much we associate role models with a ‘doing’ and achieving something, whereas reading this I can feel that a true role model can be each and everyone of us and it is about how we live, not how famous we are or what we achieve.
Yes, trying to please people and live up to their expectations doesn’t work, is exhausting, and dishonouring of ourselves, ‘I was constantly trying to keep everyone happy and be the person I thought everyone wanted me to be. It seemed to me what people wanted from me was constantly changing and that what they would see as a ‘good man’ one day, would change the next.’
“I found it harder and harder to live up to the expectations I put on myself.” A true role model is someone who inspires to be who you are.
It keeps life much simpler, just living who we truly are in our fullness and bringing this with us wherever we are, knowing we naturally inspire those around us.
Self judgement is a killer Mary, and the sooner we nip it in the bud the sooner we can become more Loving in the way we Live and thus be inspired by others as you have shared.
The identification with what we do for men is enormous. I can see it in the seemingly little things, like simple computer work, where I can be caught up in the doing, and losing my connection to me, my essence, nu inner beauty. Crazy! What I do is more important than this connection? Connection goes before doing, is my norm. And that takes focus.
The greatest man in this world is the one who honours to the hilt what he feels in his heart and accepts his true responsibility and power. He is the complete antithesis of blame culture.
The more we deepen our relationships with others the more we allow the true modelling to unfold. There is no textbook, guide or go to sheet but a willingness to explore without perfection what life offers us to deepen at any given moment.
Serge along with his family are the most inspiring role models one could ever hope to come across, we are truly blessed to experience the love and truth lived by this family.
Serge Benhayon and his family are indeed incredibly inspiring, I am so appreciative to have this family in our world, and in my life.
We get a lot praise for being a good girl or boy when we’re young, which sets us up for wanting to be ‘good’ people- i.e. measure up to external expectations of how we think we should or need to be, to gain acceptance and recognition by others around us. But what if true good was just being who we are, holding steady and true to that? That is what supports and inspires others to choose that for themselves.
I so remember always being asked to be a good girl it was a mantra, but I had no idea what it meant because one persons view of good was different from someone else’s and so it got quite confusing and then no one is pleased or satisfied. I could feel the disappointment from people who expected me to be so much more. It’s a bit like wearing a heavy overcoat that has tickets on it of what is expected by the different people I met they all have different needs of how they wanted me to be. The overcoat weighs down so much all I can think about is the weight. I have completely forgotten there’s me under the coat. I feel I’m not the only one who lives like this.
A true role model is someone who inspires someone to make changes within themselves. There’s nothing about being a role model that means others follow or copy.. no true change ever happens that way, because it’s not based on our own experience or learning.
I wonder how much being a good man is doing what other people tell us? They may be right or wrong but it sounds exhausting.
This can be debilitating to keep trying to be better, good, right and uphold an idea of who we are, not let people down etc. It is great to be steady, consistent and supportive, but to keep trying to hold everyone else up and not make ‘mistakes’ in the process is exhausting. We need to be honest that we are all learning and not perfect and we can be supporting each other.
Men have the amazing capacity to make us feel safe and cared for when they let their guard down and allow those qualities of tenderness adds strength be shown
This is exactly it….”I have come to the understanding that a true role model is someone who inspires others to change something for themselves: not by copying what they have seen from another but by making a true change in themselves and in the way they are living.” This is how I have been inspired to change, from the inside out, from observing others claiming who they are and not holding back, you know without doubt that you can choose it for yourself as well.
I was talking to a male friend recently who was sharing this same thing, that he found that he was caught up in trying to please everyone and in this he did not feel like he knew himself, he felt like he was unsure of how he actually felt about things and was needing to start exploring this for himself.
Yes, neither pleasing everyone, nor reacting to everyone or trying to dominate everyone works. All leave us and others deeply unfulfilled.
I can observe people every day and find inspiration in their movements. They need not say anything or interact with me, but how they move touches me.
I agree inspiration can come in any moment if we are open to it, we all have something to share with each other and it does not need to be spoken.
So frequently inspiration is not spoken, ‘I watch what he does and how he does it and I am continually touched and inspired’
We write essays with our walk, speak volumes with our talk and the way we hold ourselves can be read like a book. We are constantly communicating so much everyday we’d be wise to ensure we have something loving to say. Thank you for the inspiration Ray.
I agree that we have more influence on each other than we perhaps realise or admit.
I recently had a young boy share with me the important role that his male teacher played in his life. The boy did not have contact with his father and this male teacher for him was an important role model. The teacher offered him guidance, support and a fatherly way that was very needed for the boy and it meant a lot to him but he also had this idea that it was ‘bad’ to love him or share with him how important this relationship was to him. I confirmed in him that it was actually a very normal thing to look to an adult for guidance, support and nurturing and it is okay to want that and embrace it in your life.
When we take responsibility for our choices a whole new world opens up for us because responsibility is love.
The truth is, that we all can be, indeed we must be, role models, to take on the responsibility of what this truly means, and then to live in this way.
A role model is a role model because of the quality they express, not because they have done or achieved something.
What we are all looking for in life is love. With our every cell we know deep down when we see people living the truth. It’s these people like you Ray or Serge Benhayon we should observe and understand how loving energy works.
If there’s a good, there must be a bad. They seem then so black and white. But what I’ve been seeing recently is these two ‘polar opposites’ are interlinked and actually the same. Everything in life that presents is just part of our learning. Thinking anything is better than anything else is just a big but ancient trap. Thanks Ray for this supportive and honest blog and helping me to see that.
It wasn’t until meeting Serge Benhayon that I understood how powerful we can be as role models because we are constantly watching and feeling each other’s quality and choices. Because everything was a blur and mashed together I didn’t see the impact one person can make to the world until I met this man living with such clarity and integrity.
Thank you Ray very well written — I am touched. This is an extensive writing on what it is to be a role model. It’s true how important we all are and what we reflect no more or less than each other. It is also to note when the truth is represented we feel it and thus the inspiration is born and the awe can be lived.
Trying to keep other people happy never works!!! Great blog I think we forget just how much of an influence we have on people through our livingness (expression, walk, behaviour, whether we are consistent or not etc) and this is really important. This is not to say that we should be ‘something’ or ‘someone’ for others but more be true to ourselves first and foremost.
Doing the right thing and being the man you are expected to be does get exhausting. It’s so much easier to just be true to yourself and this is where our greatest integrity and moral compass lays.
I am inspired by what you share Ray. There is a massive mentality amongst men that dictate the macho bravado that is the expected norm most men adopt themselves to. This way of living is failing us as the health states clearly indicate and hence the great importance and responsibility of what we are modelling to others.
“I found it harder and harder to live up to the expectations I put on myself.” There is a lot of discussion about ‘fake news’ these days and we can add to this false creation when we choose not to be who we truly are.
“We are true role models by the quality we are living from and not by what we can do.” This is a grounding and inspiring sentence. It takes away all need and the exhaustion that comes from ‘turning it on’ when you think you are it and it is needed, and turning it off when you think you are home and ‘off-duty’!
If doing the right thing means being at the expense of ourselves we in truth deliver nothing to another.
We are whole human beings and because of this we can never separate nor categorize ourselves into parts thinking that some parts are more important than others because they always all feed back to the whole.
What you say about Serge is so true, he lives and breathes what he talks, he is not just for show and that is truly inspiring. Role models who live with gentleness and harmlessness to others, who are committed and engaged with life and are not afraid to walk who they are, are so needed. We can all be that by accepting ourselves and living transparently without apology.
I also felt especially those around me were inspired by me from a very young age but didn’t know how to handle it because there were thoughts telling me that because they were older they should know more and better than me! Since meeting Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I am learning to accept that I have much to offer and inspire but also I have much to learn and be inspired by everyone I come across in my life too… it is a forever opening and deepening of the relationship I have to myself.
We are role models all of the time, whether we like it or not, the question is what kind of role model are we being and how do we inspire another and what are we inspiring in them?
“I did my best to always do the ‘right’ thing but sometimes I found this exhausting, and at other times I didn’t live up to what I thought I should be doing or saying. I would change the way I did things the moment someone reacted badly – I wanted everyone to be happy with what I did and to see me as a ‘good person’.” – Ray this is a very familiar scenario for me too in growing up and in my adult years. In fact I recall one time in my teens deciding to do something for the first time that was not in an attempt to pleasing someone else, but I went with what felt right for me – and the anger that came at me from that person was an eye opener for me. Sadly it taught me that when you choose for yourself, you risk the wrath of another! And so life has been about learning to undo this habit and trusting myself and learning to keep feeling and expressing from a truth rather than from pleasing another.
I love what Ray has written here but at the same time I can see how it can be slightly confusing to make a true choice, because as a man most experiences in society are pulling us towards the stereotypes and modelling behaviour that is not that caring. It takes commitment to care for yourself and offer a representation of a man that is living what is right for himself and displaying genuine care and affection in doing so, quite possibly with a discipline that may not always be popular.
I got from reading this today of how linked and connected we really are. We are all role models for each other, in each and every moment, and then the question is – what kind of role model are we? What do we reflect to another?
Thank you Ray , I found and find the role models that are presented by the world are always looking for approval , they are looking to be confirmed by the media and this is an on going situation for them.
Beautiful expose on role modelling Ray, loved it. It is indeed a different view on a role model if you look at the whole life of person. How many people are role models in every part of their lives, without being perfect? It feels you are Ray.
I love that you are not pretending or adding to the notion that there is a formula or rule book for being a role model… that actually what you are inspiring and inviting us to consider is that it is about the quality with which we take care of and value ourselves and are prepared to learn along the way.
We are extremely fortunate to have such beautiful, strong and clear male roles in our midst, and we can now start to raise our children free of stereotypes and roles
“I don’t have a public face and then a face for my friends and another one for my family. The face I have is a constant through all areas of my life.” This is an inspiringly powerful statement.
“It was like I could live to be a ‘good man’ for a period of time and ride a wave of people being pleased, but then I would fall off the wave with one bad comment or feeling and I would be depressed or upset for a period of time before I would change how I was so that this didn’t ever happen again… only to do this cycle over and over again.” This is a perpetual cycle of untruth.
“I did my best to always do the ‘right’ thing but sometimes I found this exhausting, and at other times I didn’t live up to what I thought I should be doing or saying. I would change the way I did things the moment someone reacted badly – I wanted everyone to be happy with what I did and to see me as a ‘good person’.” This is so common throughout society. It is no wonder we are all exhausted – trying to be good. Looking deep inside – and discovering that truth is where its at – was a revelation for me. Accepting, appreciating and loving ourselves – then the need for approval from outside can dissolve away.
This is very interesting subject, calling on our responsibility in life. We are being watched and seen. Being a role model knows no end.
Yes there is always a quality of reflection being felt from all around us.
Raymond, I remember trying this in the past; ‘I took note of how and why it worked for them and then I would try it for myself.’ If someone seemed popular and people seemed to listen to them then I would try to copy their behaviour, this never worked as it left me feeling empty and not true. Nowadays I have deepened my self acceptance and love for myself and so rather than copying other people I am finding what my true way of expressing and being is, I am inspired by others but always come back to what feels true for me.
Thank you Ray, it’s so draining and exhausting to live hanging on what others think. Apart from the literal, physical impact and cost the greatest shame is that others do not get to see the real you, the genuine me, and then what we call friendships and relationships fall apart, feel shallow and do not work. We say we can’t make them change – but as you show us isn’t that simply because we are hiding from our responsibility to nurture ourselves?
I see so many relationships fail because there is a mismatch of what we are showing and living versus who we truly are. If we chose to honour who we are before we got into relationships the exhaustion of keeping up appearances would not be there and there would be greater freedom to live who we are with each other.
“True role models are everyday people doing everyday things.” They are not necessarily the rich, famous, successful or even the leaders sometimes, they are everyday people who stay true to themselves, true to the love they are and if you are open to it you will see them in many pockets of your life, just going about their daily living – walking their talk. I am forever appreciating the fact that I have had so many amazing role models in my life and, to the best of my ability, live with a choice to live true to myself too, to show it is possible for anyone else to do.
Ray as you have shared Serge Benhayon is a role model as are you, and the loving caring energy that is so simply lived by the two of you, is inspiring. Fathering energy can come from anyone, and is such blessing when it shines its light, so everyone can see the reflection.
It’s true that there is a lot that is not right about the ideas we have of what a ‘true man’ should be. It is not about us giving up or giving free reign to our fancies. But just that what define as a true ‘true man’ isn’t the things we do but energetic quality we choose. We don’t have to do anything as you show Ray, but if we choose to live in a certain way that maintains our care, our warmth, our open heart we start to see the true person we are. That’s brilliant to me.
Beautiful Ray, your words here have helped me understand a situation I have just found myself in. The idea of things that are ‘good’ to do, can be very seductive, especially when others encourage you to go ahead. But ultimately if it is not true then all it does is cause us harm.
Being ill, unemployed, or alone there is no situation where we are not able to role model Love, and it has nothing to do with how we perform.
The ideal of being a better man has been instilled in society as a badge of honour, but it disallows the self-care and self-love so desperately needed for men.
Looking around at the other men to see how to be a ‘man’ is like cheating from the guy who hasn’t studied for the exam. It really is a case of the blind leading the blind; constantly adjusting who you are to see if this is ‘it’ and avoiding rejection of any form. It is only when we start to look inside for the truth of who we are that we can be a solid and true role model. Ray is a great example of this, showing other men that they can be themselves and this is true success. We need these everyday role models, as the fantasy role models that actors and sports stars portray just don’t relate to us and are far from true. We will always be left feeling false and less if that is what we aspire to.
What you mentioned about how you would feel good as long as people would like you and not see anything negative about you is something that sounds so exhausting and so self critical. It is good to see this as I can see how I have done this to myself so so many times. Sometimes you need a strong reflection like that to see how intense your own behaviour is.
The trap of being a better person is one that catches many of us. It assumes we are already somehow broken or not enough and that our job is to become better. This is in conflict with the truth that is we are already enough, we are amazing and wonderful at the core of who we are. There may be areas of our life that we are not being who we are, are not expressing the wonderfulness we are, are neglecting ourselves, and all these need to be worked on. But, and its a big “but” – we cannot approach any development from thinking we are broken, we must allow ourselves the grace to assume and appreciate we are already enough while we go about resurrecting ourselves in whatever area of life we want to develop or improve in.
“I am inspired by Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and The Way of The Livingness – true role models who inspire me to be the real me.” There are no greater role models and their greatest inspiration is to inspire one to be “the quality we are living from and not by what we can do.”
No wonder so many of us are exhausted, all that trying to be good and perfect to so many people ! It is inspiring how you have shifted to being at ease in your own skin, effortlessly yourself.
I feel that being a ‘nice’ man is quite big for many. My Dad was a nice man but rarely spoke about how he truly felt. He would always do what was right but in this I can feel that it was a role that he felt he needed to play. He would be worried about the wrath that would come back at him if he did express or expose something. It is great to bust open the myth of ‘nice’ and how this is considered ‘good’ and whether this actually supports us all.
We are all role models, whether we like it or not. So we are all role models, the question comes what are we inspiring people with? Then automatically this comes with responsibility.
Yes Willem, what is the reflection we are offering all of the time, not just when you think you are ‘on’
It’s so interesting how easily we can give our power away to a ‘pin up’ woman or man and want to replicate how they are… with out seeing how they are really living! Is it that we are easily fooled or do we welcome the distraction away from true responsibility and inspiration to be all we are?
“I did my best to always do the ‘right’ thing but sometimes I found this exhausting, and at other times I didn’t live up to what I thought I should be doing or saying.” So many of us have done this – regardless of gender. Doing the ‘right thing’, being ‘good’ or ‘nice’, making life ‘better’ doesn’t cut it. Having true role models instead is inspiring and we are all role models – some more inspiring than others.