Fiction. Hasn’t fiction been a great part of our lives? Since childhood to even now.
Hasn’t Growing up been all about getting inspired by watching these awesome cartoons, thriller movies with action heroes, silly yet interesting Soaps & Serials and reading breathtaking books? So what inspired you? Or lets say Who Inspired you? Almost all of us have non-fictional role models like our parents who inspire us, but what about fictional role models? Do they Inspire you?
When I thought about it, I was little confused. According to the definition of a Role Model:
The term role model generally means any “person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others”. (WIKIPEDIA)
Can the “example” of a Fictional Character be really an example? Considering its fictitious, the Realities of the character are fictitious too and they are often not at all similar to a human being’s reality. Can a fictitious behavior be really emulated? How will you balance the “Truth of life” vs the “Example” that is being portrayed by a fictional character? Has anyone done it before?
When I asked few people around me, which fictional character inspired them? and why? This is what they replied:
People have all kind of fictional characters as their role models. Funny characters, Serious characters, Dynamic Characters, Flat characters,Foil characters, Round Characters, Static Characters etc Most of the times the role models or characters which inspire people are the ones which they either admire a lot or because they want to be like them.
I do admire many characters like Naruto, Kira Argounova – We the living, Ram – Main hoon na, Jack -Lost, Mouth – One tree hill, Nathan Scott – One tree hill and many more but I am still wondering which is that one character which is my role model? The person I want to be like because every character that motivates me or inspires me does not have similar realities like me? The Fictional Character is in a different reality – his actions, thoughts, methods, expressions are based on a different reality which itself is an imagination of a person. It is as simple as, I myself imagining about certain strengths or qualities (which I like) in a character and drag inspiration from that thought itself (More like a dream). Then how does this role modeling and inspiring work?
I was having a conversation with Anand about it this is how it went.
BBM Status: Can Fictional Characters be role models?
AB: Coincidentally… Am reading abt Dumbledore right now
Gaurav Julka: Bt. That person is never dealing with real life situation.
AB: Dumbledore is fictional
Gaurav Julka: Ya? Then how can he be my role model?
Gaurav Julka: I mean I want someone who deals with real life.
AB: So that’s not fictional!
AB: That’s non-fiction
AB: Why can’t a fictional character be a role model?
Gaurav Julka: Define role model?
AB: Someone u look up to, because of their beliefs, thoughts, abilities and over-all being.
AB: And u believe in them or their thoughts
AB: And somehow they inspire you to be better than what you can be
Gaurav Julka: And it does not matter in what circumstances they are in compared to us?
Gaurav Julka: He is that way because his circumstances are such.
AB: No one is comparing..
Gaurav Julka: As in unki situation aur hamari
AB: and u draw inspiration from how that person is in different situations..
AB: Situations, of course are different and will always be
AB: But u do admire people for xyz reasons
AB: And as such, many of these fictional characters are portrayed dealing with situations that happen with many ppl
Gaurav Julka: True.
Gaurav Julka: So u take what matches your reality? Or u believe in what u think is right in that person?
AB: For eg, I look upto Dumbledore cause he deals with people in such situations that are seen in real life.. His leadership, love for people, thoughts, belief in people is something that people can actually implement and learn from, in real life.
Gaurav Julka: Bt. In the end its you who decides what is to be followed?
Gaurav Julka: You decide what is right or wrong?
AB: None of us can ever be totally correct in deciding what’s right or wrong.. All I am saying is, one can have fictional role models if they believe in them and think they can learn from such role models
Gaurav Julka: True 🙂
So in it end it all comes down to what we believe in? and What we want to learn from our fictional character?
Is it about Choice? Is it again upto us to decide what qualities of our role model do we believe in?
It has to be like that. Whenever Adof Hitler spoke he was inspirational, his passion for his country was inspirational too and I would love to be as inspirational orator as he was but never will I follow his actions and the rest of his thoughts,beliefs and ideas. It is always going to be about the way we look at it and trust me this again has to be a smart choice because many a times we start emulating our fictional role models.
I think the fact is that you do not need to even know the realities of the person, but you need to choose what inspires us is not the person but his actions and thoughts. Even though they might be be executed or thought in a similar reality but they are for sure customizable and implementable in our realities. In the past few days, I have read and researched a lot about fictional characters being role models and it all came down to one simple aspect: Anything living, dead or fictional which inspires you by its action, thoughts, behavior could be a role model but its upto us to figure what exactly is the role modeling behavior of the fictional character in your life. You might just have one or you might have many but you will always look onto what inspires you and that has to inspire you for a right reason.
One of my fictional yet inspirational role model – Lucas Scott once said:
There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroads. The choices we make in those moments can define the rest of our days.