Looks Like We Mo’d It…
I have one role model each my Movember: my Dad. He had an brilliantly bushy moustache back in the day, and he died from prostate cancer 4 years ago this month. I took part in Movember again this year to remember that, and had big ideas for it. I was going to talk about prostate and testicular cancer to everyone I met and write a song called ‘Check Your Balls’. But I didn’t get much further than the atrocious daily photos.
It’s not that I lost my passion for the cause or remembering Dad. I just threw myself into ‘Advent Tea’, my little Christmas fundraising project for Christian Aid. ‘Little’ is a major understatement for an operation involving 3000 teabags and sales worth over £600. But with the help of Mum I did it. And I know Dad would have been busy labeling envelopes with her, selling them to everyone he knew and supporting me with his encouragement and determination. Making Advent Tea was a way to put his legacy into action: an unwavering belief in working hard to achieve success and the need to never stop helping other people.
I can’t be the only person you’ve heard call their Dad/Grandpa/Mum/Grandma a role model. They become huge inspirations to us because we live with them, seeing with our own eyes how they deal with the joys, stresses and sorrow of life. I have celebrity role models too, like Ellen DeGeneres: ‘coming out’ in real life and her sitcom was groundbreaking, and she continues to inspire me with the infectious joy she spreads on her daily talk show. But I don’t know what Ellen’s like at home. I guess she’s just as lovely and funny, but she can’t tell me how to react when a friend’s in trouble or there’s a power cut. Dad did.
It’s so blindingly obvious that however inspiring celebrities are, the people we see everyday of our lives become much more powerful role models. That also means I’m a role model to the people I see everyday. I don’t say that arrogantly; being a role model doesn’t mean being perfect. It means I lead life the best way I can, and hope some parts of it seem ‘right’ to other people too. No one person can give us a perfect example of 21st Century living, no idol can spoon-feed us the answers however much we worship them. But as one person you need to live as a role model. What kind of life are living if you don’t want anyone to follow it or learn from what you’ve done? 
That’s why I always help other people when I can, because I know life can be too overwhelming to struggle through it alone. That’s why I made Advent Tea, to support Christian Aid’s work to end poverty. That’s why I grew a moustache, because I knew sharing my Dad’s story would raise money and awareness that will stop other role models dying far too young.
You can sponsor me for Movember at www.MoBro.co/JoeyKnock
You can find out more about Advent Tea at www.facebook.com/AdventTea