Character Corner: Who's watching

Character Corner is an ongoing series of commentaries furnished weekly by the U.S. Air Force Academy's Center for Character Development during the academic year. (U.S. Air Force illustration)

Character Corner is an ongoing series of commentaries furnished weekly by the U.S. Air Force Academy's Center for Character Development during the academic year. (U.S. Air Force illustration)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Several years ago, a young man who had grown up in our church was receiving a very special professional honor.During the service,many people looked on in admiration as he,who had grown from a child to a young man in their midst, was showing that he had pursued a high calling and had been recognized in his pursuit of service. 

Afterward,he went up to my father and said,"Ever since I was a child,I have looked up to you with admiration and respect and I have tried to make you my role model." My father was flabbergasted.All this time, my father had seen in the young man something special -- something my father had admired. And now, he learned that the young man whom he had respected had been using my father as a pattern. Needless to say, my father was humbled by the honor. 

I have seen similar things here at USAFA. As odd as it may sound, young women and men from 18 through 24 are role models. And it's not always just that Doolies are watching and imitating Firsties and two-digs.I have known basics,even people who didn't consider themselves to be top performers, who were admired and respected not only by their classmates, but also by their cadre. These other people may not communicate this to the role model, but they are definitely watching and learning. 

So keep in mind that others are watching you, learning from you, and imitating you. Let that do more than just boost your ego -- let it inspire you to be the kind of role model that would make anyone proud.

Tune into KAFA 97.7 FM for Character Matters, airing Wednesdays at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. You can also listen via iTunes or at www.usafa.org.