Urmi Majithia
Published on: 20th February 2016
Often we look for role models in books, see them on tv, read about them on Internet or follow them on social media; someone famous, glamorous, cool or super smart. Influential personalities like celebrities, corporate tycoons, athletes, government-highest-ranked officials continue to inspire us. Is that something wrong? Absolutely not. Whoever or whatever makes one influenced, should go for it, pursue it. Try to be like them - as simple as that.
My attempt is to bring forward a different perspective that has worked for me. The answer to me was hidden deeper in my roots; it was in the stories narrated by my grandparents that intrigued me as a kid.

I would spend hours listening to my grandparents' stories; where they came from, what they had accomplished. One such story is of my maternal grandpa; from a postman to a food delivery boy to a textile business owner - in a flash, all went away just in one night. Then again, even after the age of 60, from nothing to even more a wealthier business man he had become; owning a three floors bungalow which lavishly accommodated his 8 kids. His hard work and perseverance continued till he was 88; pretty much till his last days.

Somewhere as a kid, I felt the connection in their struggles, ups and downs, and lessons learnt. I kept thinking about those stories whenever I missed my grandpa. Then one day, I decided to look into each of my family member's achievements: parents, their siblings, my brother and my first cousins. I knew each one of us are connected by blood, but little did I know that each one of us are actually connected by the same stories told to us every year in humid, hot, candle lit summer vacation nights for at least till we were all 10 years old. Stories were centered on honesty, self awareness and improvement, perseverance, modesty, positivity, humor, strong business ethics and really strong family values. I feel each one of my family member has been influenced by the morals of those stories, characters and values, and have tried to live and demonstrate their favorite character and values unconsciously in their real lives. Everyone knows that my grandfather was a great story teller: full of energy and expressions, laughter, love and a modest man.

But recently, I realized that it was his way to influence us, to build a family that keeps influencing one another in different walks of life.

And that's where I found my role models - in my roots: My grandpa, my parents, their siblings, my brother and my first cousins - not one but all.

Admire your family, recognize their hard work and learn from their choices.
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