10 of the Best Role Models for Young Boys

Posted on by admin | in babysitting

When sports heroes are exposed as users of performance-enhancing drugs or serial adulterers, it’s difficult to reconcile their antics with their assumed position as a role model to today’s generation of young boys. These ten men may not have multimillion-dollar endorsements or the adoration of a legion of devoted fans, but they do exhibit qualities that make them great role models for young men.

  1. Nick Vujicic“It’s a lie to think you’re not good enough. It’s a lie to think you’re not worth anything.” This Serbian-Australian motivational speaker and evangelist suffers from a disorder that caused him to be born without all four of his limbs. After coming to terms with his condition, he formed a non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs, dedicated to helping others find hope and meaning in life.
  2. Eamon Sullivan“At the end of the day, we did the best we could. That’s all we could ask for.” The fastest swimmer in history after breaking the world record in 50-meter freestyle at the 2008 NSW Open Championships, Eamon Sullivan has persevered in his sport despite being sidelined several times with injuries and illnesses. Part of the 2012 Australian Olympic swim team that was plagued with allegations of substance abuse, bullying and hazing, Sullivan stepped out to publicly decry bullying in all its forms.
  3. Albert Einstein“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” A theoretical physicist that pioneered the concept of relativity, Albert Einstein is a strong role model for boys not only because of his many accomplishments, but also his acceptance of the inevitable nature of failure and the importance of persevering in spite of it.
  4. Abraham Lincoln“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” If there’s one theme that characterizes Abraham Lincoln’s life, it was an absolute refusal to give up. That, paired with his vision of an America free from slavery, makes him one of the greatest Presidents in American history, as well as one of the most inspirational figures.
  5. Stephen Hawking“It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem, but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward.” One of the most celebrated scientific figures of his generation, Stephen Hawking has written books, experienced weightlessness, been honored as a pioneer in scientific research and made incredible discoveries in his lifetime. He’s also managed to live a full, celebrated life with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  6. Bill Gates“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.” Bill Gates might be most well-known for his achievements in technology and innovation, but his determination to give away his staggering wealth through charitable donations in his lifetime is what sets him apart from other media moguls of his generation. Few examples of such blatant generosity exist in the world today, which is why Bill Gates makes such an excellent role model for young men.
  7. Winston Churchill “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” In the midst of the greatest global conflict of all time, Winston Churchill’s staunch optimism and penchant for inspiring speeches maintained the morale of the British people until the Allied Forces emerged on the other side of World War II, victorious. His belief in the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of perseverance are the legacy he left behind; one that today’s boys would do well to examine.
  8. Sean Swarner “The human body can survive for about thirty days without food. The human condition can sustain itself for about three days without water, but no human alive can survive for more than thirty seconds without hope, because without hope we truly have nothing.” The fact that Sean Swarner completed the Seven Peak Challenge of climbing the highest mountain on every continent is reason enough to view him as a strong role model. The fact that he did so after being the only person in the world to survive both Hodgkin’s Disease and Askin’s sarcoma elevates him to an entirely different level of role models altogether.
  9. William Kamkwamba“Don’t insult me today just because I’m poor, you don’t know what my future holds!” When Malawian teenager William Kamkwamba’s parents could no longer afford to send him to school, he turned to his local library to assuage his thirst for knowledge. He was then inspired to build a windmill to generate power for his village after reading a book on energy, though the resources available to him were limited. With scrap parts and trees, William created a functional windmill that powered his village and later when on to speak at global science conferences.
  10. Dad – No matter how many sports stars fall from grace or public figures find themselves mired in a reputation-ruining scandal, there’s one role model that boys will never stop looking up to: Dad.

While it’s certainly troubling to be forced to explain the fall from grace of a once-great athlete or public figure, these moments can actually serve as effective and timely talking points if they’re approached correctly. For instance, a boy that’s athletically ambitious and determined to succeed might benefit from a frank discussion about how the discovery of performing-enhancing substance use ruined Lance Armstrong’s career and reputation forever. Don’t shy away from the difficult situations, as they are the ones that your sons stand to learn the most from.

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