Upon finishing my first marathon I received a congratulatory letter from my niece, Miranda. The letter included a quote from a book Miranda had recently completed. It read "He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." (Clarence Budington Kelland). At the time I was moved by the elegance of the words and the simplicity of the message.
Through modeling positive behaviour we effect positive change in those close to our hearts. Only the misguided and foolish will attempt to demand or coerce change; it must come from within for it to truly blossom. Parents and teachers understand this concept all too well. We model the change we want to see in our children and we set non-negotiable tenets... and then we hope and pray they will follow. Modeling is a significant impetus for positive change and yet it is so simple, subtle, almost undetected, barely a blip on the radar, and yet modeling has the potential to create powerful and life-long consequences. The most challenging students in our schools are often the children without positive role models. These are the kids that are gang affiliated, the rebels, the car jackers, the dealers. These kids are the product of their environment and -9 times out of 10- they're environment lacks a positive adult role model. They are lost at sea. Sometimes all that separates them from the police is a dedicated coach, a sympathetic counsellor, or a teacher willing to go an extra mile; someone to model a positive alternative to the road they're on. Sometimes we can save them, often we can't.
My son Max is the product of our modeling. He has become his own person and yet his foundation was laid years and years ago through the process of modeling. Max is traveling and working in Japan since early January. He left as our boy and will return in a few short weeks as a man. He's now ready for university and is better prepared to negotiate life obstacles. I think we did OK.
I run to model positive behaviour to my family, my friends, and my students.