Aristotle's Vision for Moral Role Models Is Total Ancient History

Article excerpt

MY first role model died after taking a cocktail of anti-depressants and alcohol.

My last role model was a drug dealer. And now I am a role model for my two children.

Those poor little bastards.

I wish I was around in Aristotle's day so I could head butt him to death for coming up with the concept of role models.

If it weren't for that geeky Greek philosopher, I might not be stalked by this constant feeling of parental failure.

Seriously, who would want to be a role model?

Peter Costello, in a column in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald, said it was dangerous to cast footballers as role models, essentially arguing they were meatheads Co not beacons of morality.

I'm sure most footballers would prefer not to be rolled out at charity events and pretend they give a sh**.

Unfortunately, however, every parent automatically becomes a mentor for their children.

My wife couldn't understand why I was so happy when we learnt our first child was a girl.

I get the feeling she thought I was lying when I continually assured her I wanted a girl, but never explained my true feelings.

The truth is I figured a girl would be more inclined to look to her mother for life guidance, although I now realise that is exactly the type of floored thinking that makes me such a suspect role model.

That is why I recently sat my five-year-old daughter down and gave her the C[pounds sterling]talkC[yen].

Not the birds-and-the-bees talk, but one that involved me advising her that daddy's not perfect and that she would be better served finding inspiration in someone else.

She pointed out the window at the postman. C[pounds sterling]What about him?C[yen] she asked.

C[pounds sterling]Maybe,C[yen] I replied.

I asked her if she understood what I was saying. C[pounds sterling]I think so,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]Problem solved. Guilt removed,C[yen] I thought, having psychologically shielded myself behind an imbecile's logic.

But what to do with my son? …