Exemplars and Role Models

Exemplars? Role models? Met any good ones?

So, The Boss and his wife are at dinner last night enjoying some friends and some great Italian food at Juliet’s on Barton Springs Road in the little townlet of Austin by God Texas.

The night is filled with good food, good drinks, and good conversation. The kind of conversation that folks, who have known each other for a long time and watched their kids grow up together, engage in with all barriers lowered and minds in gear.

The Boss ponders the question — who would a young person today look to in public life as an exemplar? As a role model? If you say Hillary or Donald, I will come to your house and do donuts in your flower beds, y’all. I am a Big Red Car and I can be very dangerous when provoked. Do not trifle with me.

Exemplars

There was once upon a time a slew of potential role models for a person to look up to and to model their own lives after.

There was George Catlett Marshal (Winston Churchill’s Architect of Victory in WWII, 5-star general, Army Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, special Ambassador to China, Secretary of Defense, President of the Red Cross, architect of the Marshall Plan which saved Europe, Time’s man of the Year x 2, Nobel Peace Prize winner, VMI graduate).

This was a man to model one’s life after.

Who today fits this mold? Who?

Last night, nobody could come up with a single name. The assembled intelligentsia was stumped.

Send me some names, y’all. Who are we missing? Help!

Role Models

There was a time that a young person could look up to their parents (still can), a teacher, a member of the clergy, a coach, an activity leader.

Today, those folks are in short supply. What are we to do.

The answer to that is easy — let’s live OUR lives like we are tasked to be exemplars and role models for our children and their children.

After much reflection, the assembled diners — filled with excellent Juliet’s Italian food and drink — came up with? BUPKIS!

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourself. Be good to each other. Be an exemplar and a role model.cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png

  • Andrew Cashion

    There are Coaches for Sport and then there is the guiding light of humor.

    Is God Dead? OR Is Humor Dead?

    If we want to get academical about this then there is always the corn belt. Yes, the good ol’ fashioned corn belt, it’s right above you.

    “The Midwest U.S. corn belt is the most productive place on Earth—there’s more photosynthesis going on here than even in the Amazon.”

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/under-summer-sun-midwest-corn-belt-most-biologically-productive-place-earth-180950460/?no-ist

    What’s so academical about this fun fact? It’s the fact that role models are as about as interesting as photosynthesis occurring on the corn belt to most people it seems.

    Someone I knew who was a classic degenerate golf pro died on a bar stool the other week. It was amazing to see all of the other people who like to hang out with alcoholic degenerates but couldn’t do it as well, not show up for the memorial. He had a great personality no self control, father died at 16 blah blah blah, we’ve heard it all before. Was an Italian family and the family was a train wreck for the next 30 years and still is because of the father’s death.

    Long live Chris Rock. I wonder who Chris would pick? Richard Pryor?


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3D6Qc6uByo

  • Tim Bates

    IS it that there are less flawless leaders or is it that we live in a society that decapitates our kings, exposing every flow and inventing ones that do not exist? The change is not in the quality of humans produced but in a society that sees greatness as a micro aggression and not to be tolerated or celebrated!

    • JLM

      .
      Very few things have a single cause. There is always the underlying and the apparent cause. In the excellent observation you make, perhaps the answer is both?

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

  • sigmaalgebra

    To be much like GCM, about need another world war, say, WWIII where maybe nearly no one would live through it.

    While getting one person that much of a role model is asking a lot, can pick and choose from people very good in various respects and, in ones own life, combine those.

    I’m not thrilled about giving a lot of weight to people who went to the top in politics, academics, or the military because necessarily there will be each 4 or 8 years a POTUS, there will be some chaired full professors and university presidents, and there will be some four star generals, five stars given a sufficiently big war. Especially in politics, can get to POTUS for some really flimsy reasons, e.g., racial or gender affirmative action. Some people get to the top of academics because they are glad hands, good money getters, or blowhards. Some people get to the top of the military because they are brown noses, e.g., of the POTUS.

    But for some names:

    For POTUS, Ike, FDR, …, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington.

    From science and mathematics, Einstein, Schroedinger, von Neumann, going back, Maxwell and Newton.

    From the military, GCM, Ike, Nimitz, maybe some more recent ones: Mattis? Was watching Midway again last night: Nimitz made the right call in the face of big dangers. Too bad he didn’t have his bombers be more accurate and his air crews able to coordinate. Still he won one of the biggest naval victories in history. There also have to count Rochefort. Later the Navy dumped on Rochefort — big, huge mistake.

    A lot that Gates did was smart and hard work and not just luck.

    I toss in James Simons. On his own, away from Wall Street, he totally blew away Wall Street.

    In academics, I have some additional favorites — Kolmogorov, Tukey, Halmos, Doob.

    Engineering? Kelly Johnson.

    For me, there are some more but not a lot more.

  • JLM

    .
    Who would you recommend to a young person today as an exemplar or a role model? Who?

    http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/exemplars/

    BRC
    http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com