To the Editor:
The Year of the Role Model is being celebrated in our community, and it has me thinking about an important role model from my own youth. Mr. John Mills, my high school band director, had a profound influence on my development as a young person, one that I still feel today. As I reflect on my time with him, I’m struck by something. What stands out in memory is not so much what he said to us but how he conducted himself. Somehow, without doing a lot of lecturing about it, Mr. Mills taught us all we ever needed to know about commitment and professionalism. These critical traits have made an immeasurable difference in my professional life as both social worker and weekend musician.
Some 25 years later, I find his example offers me another important life lesson, one that hits closer to home. What I do around my kids is at least as important as what I say to them. In other words, “Do as I say, not as I do,” doesn’t cut it. If we want our children to act a certain way, there is no better teaching method than to role model that behavior.
Member, Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Council