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September 02, 2006

Role Models

I recently learned that one of my best friends' grandfather passed away as a result of cancer. He is troubled, which is understandable. He had a great admiration in his love for his grandfather. His grandfather was a man of Christ, a man filled with passion and life, even after learning of his disease. While my friend and his family will be in mourning after this passing, I am sure they will also remember all that they admired of their loved one.

This reminded me of another friend, who had lost his grandfather a little more than two years ago. Again, it was difficult for him, because of how much of a role model his grandfather had been. He had been a die-hard Wahoo and a doctor; again, he was a man of Christ and of great wisdom. Sadly, I never got to meet either man. They both sound like men I would have greatly admired as well. But I know that they have greatly shaped the lives of my friends, and that they will continue to become great men.

Politics can be a great place to find some good role models. Men such as Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan, and J.C. Watts have very much fit into that role, influencing my thoughts on the role of government and ethics in our lives. But we can find good role models all around us.

I was always a big fan of Cal Ripken Jr. and Darrell Green, and not just simply because of their efforts on the field. These two both showed the value of loyalty, remaining with their original teams in three different decades. Cal Ripken Jr. is making an effort to share baseball with a new generation, getting involved in Little League. Darrell Green has always made it a point to be part of the community, emphasizing education.

Lighthorse Harry and Old Zach of the now-defunct Sic Semper Tyrannis have also been role models for me more recently. These two are men of great character, and proved to me time and time again of their strength in leadership. Their friendship proved invaluable to me, and they were able to find people who wanted to work with them by earning their trust. I am still disappointed that they stopped blogging, now having left it behind for five months, but they have moved on to bigger things, and will no doubt prove to be great leaders in the future.

And most of all, my father and grandfathers have been heroes to me as well. They are not perfect, but they have helped shape me into the man I am today. My father, in particular, holds a great deal of my respect. My interests follow those of his (sometimes to the chagrin of my mother, a woman who has also been one of my biggest role models), and he also helped to shape my views of the world. If nothing else, I received simple common sense from him and my mom.

I am praying for my friend and his family, but I know that his grandfather has greatly influenced him, and will live on through his family. Good role models are the ones we miss the most when they are gone, because they mean the most to us. A good role model is priceless.