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Author Information

James is a contributor at The Hudsucker and Indianapolis Monthly. He's also a full-time student at IUPUI where he's one year away from a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Sociology. Music and friends are his main interests. He also loves sports, vinyl records and photography. Born and raised in the Midwest, he loves Indiana. But in a perfect world he would take Nashville, Tennessee and place it on the coast of St. Augustine, Florida, where he would live and never leave.

Find A Role Model

Photo by: Tessa Klingensmith

Photo by: Tessa Klingensmith

I’d like to clear something up right off the bat. I have an obsessive personality that I’m well aware of, I probably get it from my Father. But I often struggle to decipher the difference between being passionate about believing in something, or just being easily obsessed with things–and that’s for another post. However, I know with all my being that Jon Foreman is not someone I’m obsessed with. He’s someone I look up to and lean all of my questions and concerns on. I’m very thankful to have someone like Foreman reach me in ways that have changed my life.

When I was leaving my teen years, my Father wasn’t able to be there for me like he always used to. Although, I did manage to grab enough memories with my Father to fill my heart; and I understand everything from saving money to grasping sports because of my Father. Perhaps our best memory together was watching Peyton Manning finally win a Super Bowl ring, after nearly a decade of sad Sundays due to early exits in the playoffs–Colts fans understand. So I’m grateful for the memories we made while I was growing up. I know my Father never wanted alcohol to separate our bond, but it happened and around the Fall of 2007 I realized the void my Father left was still being filled by the consistent passion from Jon Foreman.

The way Foreman uses music as a vehicle to inspire is incredible. Sure, his band Switchfoot has a heavy Christian label. There’s nothing wrong with that, but they’re so much more than that. When you sit down with a record that Foreman is involved with, you better be ready to question your purpose in life and the decisions you make every day.

Side note: Foreman is actually a rather underrated musician, due to the CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) ties his music was rightfully generalized with early in his career. I encourage anyone who immediately thinks of Foreman as a piece of the CCM puzzle to watch the band’s documentary to release at the end of this year. His respect of music and life is at least admirable.

Jon and James

Jon and James. Image Credit: James Ivan Layne

It’s so important to have someone like that in our lives. It’s been proven too many times we can’t go through life alone–emotionally, physically or mentally. All of us carry insecurities around on a daily basis. Channeling your role model in moments you feel them creeping up can be refreshing. Whether you’re scared of speaking up in a needed moment or ready to walk against the grain to better yourself, it’s easier to make moves when you know someone out there has your back.

You don’t have to physically know your role model. Look at Jesus Christ, He has the role model scene on lock-down and nobody “knows” him. People live by His words and the encouraging stories they hear about Him. Authors can guide you through with their life-changing novels. You can sing along with the songs you’ve declared the soundtrack to your life. You can even find the answers you’ve always looked for in the paintings you flood your office with. Living in an immediate gratification generation has its perks, as all of these things are easy to access.

It’s not about failing when you can’t do it alone. Someone else’s experience in this world can always help you, unless you’re destined for the annoying self-righteous path, which is that friend that nobody really likes.

So find that person that makes you feel alive. Find that person that makes you feel like everything you’re doing is worth it, but is not afraid to give you hell for being dense. Listen to that artist that mentors you through their music or lose yourself in the words of a writer worth changing your life. Just find that energy that plays a role in your life worth modeling.

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One Comment on “Find A Role Model”

  1. Chris Wen July 16, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    I like this article on having role models. I have many mentors in my life who don’t know me personally but I have been and am being influenced deeply by their words or music. Check out my blog post of one of my favorite Jon Foreman quotes.

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