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Arieh Raichman searches for the honest and true.

The child sits in his desk pondering of how to fill out the sheet. He is stumped on a question. The question of "Who is your role model?" keeps ringing in his head. He continues to contemplate on people he has read about in the past. Like Roosevelt and Einstein, but none seem to make an impression. He goes home saying that he will finish the sheet there. When he arrives home he hurls his work neglectfully on the table. His mother caringly peeps through his work and comes across the same question. She too is stumped. "Who is your role model?"

Today's representatives and leaders of our nation are not the ideal models in which a person would strive to emulate. They are tainted by corruption, haughtiness, and utter disrespect towards their peers. Our former President had committed infidelity, desecrating one of the Ten Commandments. Our actors and performers are being caught with illegal drugs and doing lewd acts, but this is ignored because their "contribution" to society outweighs their faults.  Our teachers are obsessed with making money and not teaching students; hiding under the slogan "We are doing it for the children's sake."

Then what and who are role models?

Should it not be that our leaders should be our role models? Our leaders were able to reach their position for a reason. They worked the hardest to get themselves there. They did not swindle their way up, but rather through arduous work and painstaking compromises they made it to the top. And what do they do with it? They misuse it and demoralize us who put them there. They see a chance for more power and money and they jump on it.  These two: power and money make them stray from the path.  Our leaders lose interest in everyones' future but their own.

One might think, "So what's the big deal.  If I were the president of Microsoft I would do anything for more power or money. But is that right? Is this what we want to teach our children? That the world is not run by good values and high morals, but rather by corruption which undermines everything. 

It is our job to protect our children's future. Leaders must somehow be kept in check. They must know that it is always their call, but they are also compelled to acknowledge the fact that without the consent of others they will not go far. So subordinates or the work force must consistently scrutinize their bosses to make sure that the only division between them is experience and time.

Business leaders know that their position is untenable without their workers and shareholders support. We in the USA are a Democracy. A representative country in which all our acts may not satisfy all parties, yet they always need to satisfy a majority. "If the majority rules, we can move on."
The individual in charge has to appeal to all parties not just specific ones, to be a real role model. That is why it is so rare. Our expectations are extreme, but our pursuits are moderate.   To resolve the ultimate question of, "Who is your role model?"  We require men and women who care about their supporters and their needs. People who are truly altruistic and abide by the law.

© Arieh Raichman 2001


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