Take a moment to ask yourself: “Who do I know who is a good role model?” Do you think of your dad? Your mother? A beloved grandparent, uncle, or aunt? Or do you think of Masons throughout history such as George Washington, whose life was the very embodiment of integrity?
No matter who you think of, notice one of the most important things about a good role model: that their life is not only a blessing to those around them, but that it continues to “rain down” as a blessing from one generation to the next.
The “Good Role Model” Checklist
As Masons, we ground our lives on the bedrock value of Brotherly Love, Tolerance, Charity, and Truth. Like building a sturdy foundation for your house, these values powerfully propel your life as a good role model. Following is a checklist of characteristics of a good role model. Which of these traits applies to you? Which do you need to work on?
You Embody High Moral Values
The developmental psychologist Marilyn Price-Mitchell, who studies the effects of role models on young people, has reported that children greatly value and respect those who practice what they preach. Specifically, Ms. Price-Mitchell has shown that young people develop and strengthen their own positive values when they have role models who behave ethically and honestly.
You are Respectful
To be a good role model, you must show respect for others, even when that may be difficult. By demonstrating selflessness and a “small-d democratic,” tolerant view of people who are different from you, you earn the admiration of others. Research shows that young people appreciate being treated with respect, and look up to those who treat others in that manner.
You are Hardworking
Good role models envision goals, commit to them, and work hard to achieve them. They persevere when they encounter life’s inevitable obstacles along the way. Even if they are not Olympic athletes or famous singers or political leaders, their passion is keenly observed by young people and others, and it inspires others to work hard to achieve their own goals and dreams.
You Exude Confidence (But Not Arrogance)
A good role model has a healthy appreciation of his or her own accomplishments, based on healthy self-respect. Without coming across as cocky or arrogant, they are able to acknowledge their achievements and share their skills. They exude a quiet pride in who they are because who they are is based solidly on values that others are inspired to emulate.
You are Optimistic and Positive
No one with a pessimistic, “Debbie Downer” view of life is going to inspire positive development in others. You inspire young people and others around you when you demonstrate an upbeat, optimistic outlook on life. This isn’t a matter of “wearing rose-tinted glasses”; it’s about having the character and courage to remain positive even when faced with setbacks. Those around you notice this—and their lives are enriched and empowered by your being a good role model in that moment of challenge.
Want to Learn More About the Valley of Portland?
Additional information about the Valley of Portland can be found on the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction Scottish Rite website and on our membership page. Interested in learning more about local events? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date and informed about upcoming events.
New brothers interested in joining the Valley of Portland can do so by completing this online application.