Sunday, December 04, 2011

Role Models

I was going to send a friend of mine (Mark) a silly picture over facebook, and thought I would send it via 'private message'.  I quickly changed my mind when I realized that the last back and forth that the two of us had had on facebook was a surprisingly thought out discussion on role models.  I re-read my answer that was quite old truth be told, and found it fascinating to read something that I had written that I had not only forgotten about, but told me something about myself that perhaps I have forgotten as of late.

I would love to chat with young (old?) Jon, just to see what he might have to say about where I am at today. 

But this is what I found the Jon of May 2010 had to say on the topic of role models.  I assume Mark wouldn't mind a reproduction of my answer, despite the fact that it was in a "private conversation" back then.

    • Mark

      Hey Jon,
      This is a little out of the blue but I wanted to ask you a personal question. I'm curious about who your role models are and how you decide who you want to be in life ...AWKWARD

      I know it's very Anya-esque of me to ask something like that with no preamble, but I'm feeling a little preambled out in life lately and i have no idea how to segue into a question like that! Besides, you seem like someone who wouldn't mind getting to the point. So... share?

  • Jonathan Arkle
    December 4, 2010
    Jonathan Arkle
    • hahah Awkkkwarddd.....

      Not at all actually, but I don't know if I'll be able to supply the answer you might be looking for. Regardless I'm going to punish you with an essay for asking me such a question.

      I give a long history, then my "current answer" below the line if you don't feel like reading

      My role models change.. haha, depending on the season of life I guess. In an all round, and sort of cliche way, (also more on a career path/work ethic basis) my Grandfathers and my Dad are who I hope to someday be like... obviously growing up seeing them as my archetype for "successful life" because, cmon, it's "your grandpa" who doesn't look up to them, and then my Dad because obviously he's been able to supply me with the life that brought me up to be who I am now, so I hope to emulate his approach to life in that sense as well.

      BUT, less cliche, and more to the "season of life", usually my role models are based on individuals who approach life with an attitude that I respect or agree with. Haha, in middle school/high school I really looked up to a rock star... not just any rock star, Andrew WK. and when I say "looked up to" I mean it, he was my hero. Not necessarily because of his musical style (which I did/do love regardless), but mostly because of his approach to life. He was endlessly positive, endlessly energetic, and when I watched interviews and things with him, past the PARTY PARTY PARTY exterior, he was really intelligent and philosophical. In the end, he "preached" an approach to life that was focused on being happy, looking on the bright side, and living life to the fullest just because.

      That set the basis, and honestly I attribute a lot of my positive outlook on life to that influence during crucial "finding yourself" years. But, I don't look at AWK quite the same way anymore, as my own life began to change, soon I was admiring people who were able to live what I had decided was a praiseworthy lifestyle. This was primarily fuelled by listening to what others had to say about people (not in the gossipy way though). I would hope that in my life I would be seen as someone who people would "want to be around", someone who doesn't just have friends, but is admired by their friends (in a totally not conceited way, I hope I don't give that impression). So, role models for me became people who I observed others want to be around for the sole reason of how they treated others, how they treated themselves. So for a good part my role models were my peers, or perhaps peers of mine who were older, more established. This would still be in the high school/early post high school era. But mainly, I looked up to and hoped to emulate the positive aspects of those who treated others with respect and were respected for it.


      So now... I thought about it, and (hopefully this answer doesn't disappoint...) But I don't really have any specific role models haha. I don't have someone who I look at all round and think, "Them... that's who I want to be like", but rather I pick and choose on traits that I admire from other people that I know, and use those in each specific interest. So for example, if it comes to work ethic, I'll look at my grandfather or my good friends at the university who genuinely work hard. Sense of humour? Well.. I have an unhealthy fanatical interest in Ricky Gervais, but he is far from someone to look up to in regards to human interaction haha, if it comes to general communication between people, I look at (brush your ego) people like you who time after time I hear people say "I love Mark Wells" just because of the way you interact with kindness first, judgment... never. But I don't have a clear cut answer for you... I used to in previous "seasons", but I guess for the "season" I'm in now, I am more of a pick and choose admirer, finding what I see to be the best, and what others identify as being the best, in those around me, and emulating those in hopes of being a horrible Frankenstein mash up of admirable qualities.

      In the end, I feel life comes down to how are you treating others... so I observe that process. If we have any indicator of what's the right way to act, or the right way to live our lives in relation to those around us... It seems the clearest response is to listen to those around us and figure out what combination "works", and it generally comes down to a pretty basic combination of love and humility... (which of course I still struggle to keep up with every day).

      Hopefully this made sense... I just woke up from my "post graveyard shift nap", so I hope that it was somewhat coherent... albeit scattered with run on sentences.

      See you at White Christmas tonight!



I loved reading this for my own sake, and it made me realize that I haven't put much thought into such topics lately.  Perhaps it's because I'm not in as social of a setting as I previously was, but regardless of the reason... It made me miss being able to give an answer like this.

Good old' Jon.  Thanks for that.

Sincerely- Present (your future) Jon.