Who would have thought that cold and blustery Regina could produce two national winners?
Last year, Camille Munro won the 2013 competition. She was the first woman from Saskatchewan to win the pageant in 50 years. As part of her travels, she made a brief stop at Maple Creek and spoke to youth. She went on to compete at the 2013 Miss World pageant and placed in the top five in the talent competition. She finished 13th out of 127 contestants! That is an amazing achievement for a down-to-earth prairie girl.
Munro said she believes God gave us two hands, one to help ourselves and one to help other people. That is how she has lived her life and it served her well in the pageant since a large part of the competition is focused on what a person has done in their community.
I think it is fantastic that Saskatchewan girls and young women have role models such as Bourgeault and Munro to look up to. Their success goes to show that every person – male or female – should dream big and not be afraid to pursue their goals, but be warned, it takes a lot of hard work.
Zack Smith is another example of a hometown youth who relentlessly pursued his passion. I am sure local hockey fans remember Zack and his minor hockey teammates. Back in the 1990s, who really thought that a new millennium would result in a young athlete from Maple Creek refining his skills and going on to play for the Ottawa Senators? His career began with a humble one-game start in 2008 and his ice time has since increased to full seasons resulting in Smith playing over 80 NHL games per year. That is an awesome example for any youth to follow.
I will restate the obvious, in order to achieve any goal a person needs to first believe in themselves and their ability to rise to the challenge. Then they must work their tail off in order to transform their dream into reality. Having a solid role model is very important in the process since that person (alive or dead) is a motivator and proof that success comes to those who diligently seek it. Positive motivation is important to both youth and adults, but it is especially important for young people to have good role models to emulate.
In this day and age there is an abundance of poor role models competing for the attention of our youth and unfortunately their influences are not positive. They plant their misguided values in the minds of unsuspecting youth just as they did in the days of my childhood, but with more speed and effectiveness than ever before. Thanks to advancements in electronics and communications, messages promoting drug and alcohol abuse, violence, sexual exploitation, human degradation and other evils can be piped directly into the ears, eyes and hearts of our children. Unfiltered and uncontrolled flow of these negative influences can cause a person to eventually perform acts that are totally out of character – acts that are immoral, if not illegal.
Therefore, I am continually grateful for the good role models children have at their schools, sports events and clubs and organizations they join. As adults, we need to remember that our actions are always being scrutinized by impressionable children and youth who are starting to forge their own path in life. It pains me to think about the times when I was not a good father or role model. Such were the times when I was busy at work or too self-absorbed in a project to spend quality time with my children, wife or others. There were times when I allowed depression to control my life and there were also times when emotions such as anger or impatience took over and made things worse.
Being a parent, or an adult for that matter, really is a much bigger job with far more responsibility than we realize. Our personal attitude and conduct is projected onto our children and individuals close to us. We actually impact the future by influencing people around us in the present. We cannot change the past, so let’s build a better tomorrow by being positive role models for our youth.