But who exactly are the people who become our role models? Or what is the criteria? Should they be famous? Should they be rich? Should they be the people whose names appear everyday in the newspapers? Should they be the ones who are awarded and honoured everyday? Not exactly I would say. But this is the notion that we have about our role models from our childhood. Remember those days when you were kid and someone asked you who is your role model. What would we reply? I am pretty sure that it would be some famous personality. Even today if you ask a kid who his or her role model is the answer definitely would be some famous person. I am not telling that these people are not our role models or shouldn’t be our role models. But think about it just for a minute. Are these the only role models we have? We are so engrossed in looking for things outside that we fail to look at the things that are around us. Similarly we look for famous people to be our role models but we fail to look at the people who are close to us and are the best candidates to be our role models- our parents.
I would like to tell you about one my role models- my dad.He didn’t command any military and win big battles. He wasn’t rich. He didn’t make any new scientific discovery nor did he write great books. He wasn’t famous. He didn’t win any big prize or award.Yet he is my role model. But if I think of it a little more and if I change the standards used for measuring riches or fame you would agree with me that my dad is the best role model.
My dad wasn’t born in a well off family. And he struggled a lot to achieve what he did in life. Life was never easy on him. But he wasn’t the one to give up. And he did not give up even in his last battle- the battle against cancer. He fought every battle of his life bravely to the very end. He never stood for what he did not believe in. He opposed when things were not right. He raised his voice against injustice and stood for what was right and just.And these battles of life that he fought inspire me more than any others. He was indeed a brave man!
My dad wasn’t a rich man. But there was this treasure that he passed on to me. The treasure of knowledge. The treasure of books. He was a firm believer in the power of education and more importantly in the power of educating our own selves. He read a lot of books and a variety of them. He was the one who introduced me to books. He is the reason behind me having a blog today.He indeed was rich in knowledge!
My dad was no scientist or a big writer. He was a high school teacher. But he did make many discoveries. He discovered the talents in his students. He inspired them and helped them write their destiny. Wasn’t he then the best discoverer and writer?
He didn’t win any big awards. But there are some awards that are more special than the trophies and medals. An year or so ago I got a friend request from a lady. I did not know who she was and hence I did not accept the request. After a few days I got a message from the lady and she asked me whether I was Mr. Mark D’souza’s daughter. I replied I was. She then went on to tell me how a great a teacher my dad was and how she couldn’t forget his classes even today after all these years. And the next thing what she said touched me. These are her exact words.
“Mark sir encouraged us to be the best we could be and we will always be thankful to him for all the hard work and efforts he has put in to make us who we are today. Amazing teacher. He has been a role model to me- an ideal teacher whom i am greatly indebted to”
If this wasn’t the biggest prize then what else was? And she wasn’t the only one. Whenever we meet any of Dad’s students they all tell the same. And how proud I am of my dad!
I do feel sad that dad isn’t with me today. I do feel sad that I got to spend just 9 years of my life with him. But then I am proud of my dad that even in his short time here in this earth he has made a difference to the lives of so many people around him. He was a good son to his parents, a good husband to my mother, a good father to my brother and me, a good brother to his siblings, a good teacher to his students and a good friend to all his friends.
Wasn’t that a life well lived? Does that not make him the best role model? Yes it does. I am proud to be his daughter. It’s been 12 years since he is gone but the lessons that he taught me, the values that he inculcated in me still remain. And I feel it is in them that he is alive. I know that he is there with me always and I hope that I have made him proud to.
I love you dad! And you are the best role model I could possibly have. I miss you Dad!
|On my 4th b’day|
I was asked to post a selfie with my role model. How I wish I could. But too make it up for it here are two pictures. The first one is one of my first pictures and the second one is one of my last pictures with him.
|On my Baptism day|
|The last family picture- On my first holy Communion Day|