In reading some of my favorite blogs today I found several posts about people that inspire each blog author. This seemed like a sweet coincidence with the general theme of my day.
Because I have been asked to be a graduate assistance next fall at Ohio University, I am taking a class now to prepare for the responsibilities of next year. My GA position is called Tobacco and Other Drugs, which is just one role in the office of Health Promotion here at OU. Other roles filled by GA’s are Sexual Assault, Alcohol Assessment, and a Peer Organization Leader; we will all work together with the hope of educating and bringing awareness to important issues on campus and in the lives of students here. The organization that plays a strong role in this is called POWER/Gamma, this group is made up of undergraduate students seeking to make a difference amongst their peers. These students who have been chosen to take part in this organization are also the students that make up the class I am taking to better prepare me for next year.
So now that you have a better understanding of why I am in a class with undergrad students I can tell you about what we talked about today in class. The assignment was to write a short paper about each person’s role model in his or her own lives. These stories were pretty unbelievable. You can never for one second dismiss someone as not having a “story”. We all have endured life to become the person we are today. Many of us have had really great lives, with our every need being met, while many others have not.
I was reminded of this today. So many of these students come from broken homes, raised by a single parent. Some students have endured the death of a parent, or domestic violence. Some have struggled with mental health due to their environment growing up; others have tried taking their own lives….
What struck me was that each student was still able to passionately speak about someone they admired and saw as a role model regardless of the adversity they have faced. Instead of being frustrated by the lack of one parent, they have turned that loss and pain into admiration for the parent that stuck around and made them who they are today.
I realized what a blessing it is for some of these students to even be here studying and obtaining such a huge goal. For some it probably didn’t seem like an attainable goal, but here they are at OU not only doing well, but also striving to be role models to others. They have voluntarily decided to join this organization to be role models to their peers and now they too are about to exhibit the same characteristics they looked up to in their role models, but to those around them.
The class today was emotional, people cried, people thanked each other for their honesty, for their willingness to share and for the trust it has built amongst themselves.
This next group of peer leaders are going to be some special kids. They themselves are inspiring 'twenty-somethings' navigating this crazy chapter of college. I am thrilled and excited to be a part of what happens next year.
I was asked to participate in this activity today as well, and for me it was quite simple. My role models are my parents. They inspire me to be the best version of myself. They have instilled work ethics, drive, determination, follow through… the list goes on.
It was not very often that I needed to be disciplined growing up, but I always knew that if I screwed up, I would be losing the insane amount of respect they had given me. Losing your parents respect can be much more damaging than spending a week grounded.
So yea… my parents are pretty awesome people and pretty deserving of the “inspiring” title I give them.
I am thankful for the life I live and I cannot be more blessed with the “story” I have to tell. I have many more pages full of rainbows and sunny days than dark and dreary ones. Not all can say that. For that I am so grateful and so thankful to those who have made my life what it is.
And to my hubby: you are a role model to me as well. Thank you for loving people the way you do. Thank you for you servant–like heart. Thank you for your willingness to stand for something you believe in. Thank you for making me a better person and thank you for choosing me as your wife.