How You Can Be Their Best Role Model

by | Feb 5, 2020

The question is, who is watching and listening to you? No, I don’t mean in the way that Alexa or Google Assistant is tracking your words and making suggestions. I don’t mean how a drone tracks you down and finds your address to deliver the Amazon package to your front door. 

I mean from afar, quietly observing what you’re doing and how you did it. We spend a great deal of our time watching others from a distance –reality television programs with actors we like or ridicule, or listening to interviews and reading articles about stars we admire. Sometimes local heroes from the news become our models for the right action at unexpected times. 

However much we sit back and observe our role models, we fail to recognize someone is watching us – we’ve become someone else’s role model.

In my last blog post How Your Role Models Make You a Greater Philanthropist, I shared about two great ladies that have impacted my giving and modeled much about how to be a donor. 

I challenged you, the reader, to think about your own role models and ask three questions:

  • What examples have they set for you? 
  • How can you follow their example in your way? 
  • What next action do they inspire? 

Turn the Table

Let’s just suppose your child or grandchild is watching your giving. Perhaps when the offering plate at church passes by, or you stop by the kiosk in the church foyer. Maybe they help you load donations for your favorite charity into the car or see you on-line making a donation. 

They might look up from the video game only briefly as you say bye on your way out of the door, dressed up for your favorite charity event. 

They’re listening and watching, even more than Alexa or Google Assistant, or any other device that’s about to become a part of our lives. 

So, ponder these questions.

  • What examples are you setting for them?
  • How will they follow your example, but in their way?
  • What actions are you inspiring?

Here are two more important questions for today.

  • How can you share in their giving experience right now? 
  • What can you learn about giving from them? 

It’s no secret children learn by copying the behavior of adults around them. Find ways to help them copy giving even when they’re not really old enough to understand the why of giving. 

What about adult children? In the book When Will My Grown-up Kid Grow Up? authors Fischel and Arnett emphasize the importance of finding common ground and listening. So, watch to see where they are getting involved and giving and join with them. 

Don’t join in with the plan of advising them on how to do it better. Join with them to learn why the cause is important to them. Listen to their reasons and stories for giving in particular ways and to particular places.

I ended my last blog post with the question:  What kind of philanthropy role model are you? That’s still the best last question. After you answer it, change what needs changing and get busy. Time is not on our side.

Like it? Use it. Share it. Comment below.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Crawford

    Great article, especially enjoyed the statement “time is not on our side”. Absolutely true.


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