By Julie Henry, G&A Assistant

A role model is something we have all been in our lives.  It is also something we have all relied on in our lives. Role models are not always people. They can be animals, fictitious characters, or even companies.  Role models don’t have any specific age or credentials. It is a fascinating thing to think about. The thought of who your role model is can be humbling. Moreover is the thought of for whom you are a role model. 

We, as individual people, are no better than each other, as another individual, deep down inside. Some might have a nicer living space than others or some might have a more ideal situation they are dealing with. One might have a more functional and supportive family, while another has more money. None of these measurements make one person better than another. Every person has the value to be a role model to another person. People can be a role model for themselves. Individuals are constantly growing and always changing, therefore the possibilities of what they may become are endless. The number of people they influence and are influenced by is also endless.  

My four-year-old son copies everything my eight-year-old son does. My one-year old son copies everything my four-year-old son does. Theoretically then, my one-year-old copies everything my eight-year-old does, who copied my ten-year-old daughter, who copied me. This is an example that we are ALL role models. It is so important for each individual to remember how their action creates a ripple. A ripple that might not affect something right away but eventually we all will leave our marks. Do we want them to be beautiful or the opposite? A poor person can be a role model to a rich person. A kind person can be a role model to a mean person. A young person can be a role model to an old person. However, all of the opposites can be true too. A role model can lead a person down a road that is not in their best interest or a role model can encourage another to change for the better. Being a role model does not necessarily indicate a positive or negative connotation.  

The moral of the story is to be mindful. Be careful of who you choose to follow. Be the change you want to see in this world. Remember that there is always somebody watching you. There is possibly even somebody immolating you. If you are a parent, a grandparent, or guardian, have a talk with your children. Find out who their role models are. Remind them they have the power to influence others. The younger people need to understand that power so can make a conscience decision to use it positively or negatively.  So if you don’t already have a role model, it’s okay, as long as you’re being a role model to yourself. Alternatively, if you can identify a role model, look at that and make sure it’s what you really want to immolate.  

As a company, PRIER has made choices to be a role model. The company mission statement is something expected to be upheld.  There are programs in place such as the United Way matching that PRIER uses so that their business can impact communities and individuals through enrichment. Companies have the choice to practice less than exemplary standards, especially when other companies are doing it first. In business, the choice to do the right thing is called being socially responsible. PRIER has chosen to be socially responsible. In life, being a positive role model is also called being socially responsible. Always be the best that you can be!  Always be positive role model.