Role Models

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Do you have a sense that you are in the right role? A role model sets measurable standards, yet your set of skills and experiences prepare you for a specific role. To start, consider what common values you have with your friends. Then consider who you enjoy spending your leisure time with the most. Those who reinvigorate you are fulfilling your genuine leisure role.

Now, how does a leisure role show as healthy or harmful?

There is a story of a king who went to his garden one morning, only to find everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree that stood near the gate what the trouble was.  The oak said it was tired of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine tree. The pine was troubled because it could not bear grapes like the grapevine. The grapevine was determined to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and produce fruit as large as peaches.  The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac.  And so it went throughout the garden. Yet coming to a violet, the king found its face as bright and happy as ever and said, “Well, violet, I’m glad to find one brave little flower in the midst of this discouragement. You don’t seem to be the least disheartened.” The violet responded, “No, I’m not. I know I’m small, yet I thought if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach tree or even a lilac, you would have planted one. Since I knew you wanted a violet, I’m determined to be the best little violet I can be.”

From the past or even today, feeling forced or withered identifies as missing the mark physically or mentally. The roles we fulfill are identified as patterns of behavior that relate to daily life activities, habitual or routine.* These include height, previous injuries, family history, and sensory needs.  Knowing these and more identity characteristics will improve your role self-assurance.

Purposefully understand your history and body.  It may impact the wellbeing of your roles.

Artists capture people in various context and environments. Which role do you identify with? Which role do you desire? Which impacts a greater wellbeing? Visuals or art like these below provoke thoughts about lifestyle roles.

Behold the Square – Jason Jagel
Aye, Aw, Nope – Jason Jagel
Behavioral Automatism – Jason Jagel
Le21eme – Adam Katz
Le21eme – Adam Katz

*definition provided from the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, p673, Nov/Dec 2008, Volume 62, Number 6

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