It’s no coincidence we take on the characteristics of those around us. We constantly watch, learn, and adapt to our surroundings. And while most of this happens unconsciously, we can intentionally surround ourselves by those who embody our deep values and learn to emulate them.
In parenting, there’s truth in the saying more is caught than taught. Kids learn most by emulating their parents.
And this is not something we grow out of. In big and small ways, we’re constantly picking up on the sayings, gestures, interpretations, and the like of others.
While we each develop our own individual blend of these characteristics, our way of doing life tends to remain pretty close to those around us.
And so it’s important to regularly pause and consider if we’re surrounding ourselves by the people we want to become like.
Are those around us going in the same direction we want to go?
And like the parenting adage – we need more than just right teaching. We need those who embody in their daily lives the values we profess.
This is part of what makes the life and teachings of Jesus so attractive. He doesn’t provide mere abstract philosophy but shows us how to live with his very life. He’s a true role model.
And we need similar individuals who will model for us the various roles we’re called to throughout our life and relationships.
At work and at home, in friendships and even our sexuality – we need those who will show us how to live and grow into the best versions of ourselves.
While flesh and blood interactions are generally best, there’s a lot we can learn through the life stories of those we admire, and even through fictional characters that depict the qualities we cherish.
And, to be sure, there comes a point when we’re called to generously give our lives for others to emulate as well.
Find those you want to become more like and emulate them.