I was just around 2 remarkable children–a big sister and little brother. The older sister is insatiable in seeking knowledge. Her unending “Tell me a story” continued until I found that I was digging deep into my very soul to satisfy her. As I shared stories from the family or experiences, I could see her eyes become dreamy as she pictured the story in her mind. In this exchange, she learned so much about me, much more than anyone else has ever really wanted to know. And I learned about her. As she asked questions, I learned what really piqued her interest. I could see how she compared things to her own life by her comments. We found our common interests and passions. What I learned from this remarkable little girl was: how to listen– really listen, how to get to know someone for whom they really are, and how to find the stories in life. I have supreme confidence that she will keep asking, seeking, and knocking at doors until she finds the big story of her own life.
Now to the lesson from the little brother. He idolizes his sister. He follows her like a puppy dog. He imitates her every move. If you comment on that fact, he is proud and not embarrassed because he “woves” (loves) her. I see this as the ultimate in loving.
The big sister is kind to him and enjoys his company (usually). If he does something cute and babyish, she smiles a tolerant and adoring secret smile like she is sharing his cuteness with you. She is not often mean or intolerant. So she is a good choice for him to imitate.
Ultimately, we all must pick role models for our lives. Every person will have some bad qualities in with the good, yet, we can find good, if not perfect, role models. And of course there is the best role model of all time. But we must each find our own way into his footsteps.