Role Model

March 27, 2011
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Letters. Words. Sentences. Paragraphs. Chapters. Books. A different world, separate story. I can be whoever I want to be. I can be a ghost, a San Francisco homicide detective, a mouse, a teenage supermodel. I can transform myself and explore an unknown world for a few hours. This is the reason why I find comfort in reading. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by the way writers make a whole alternate universe blossom from their words. One such author that has inspired me is J.K. Rowling. Furthermore, many reasons have led me to consider her my role model.

One of these reasons is the inspiration she is for many women. When Rowling published her first Harry Potter novel, she was a single mother trying to support her family. She proved that she did not need a man to survive; she did it on her own. Rowling and countless other women show society every day that women are just as capable as men. Although women are almost equal with men in North America and Western Europe, many countries consist of chiefly patriarchal societies where men rule. There women cannot have the honor to consider themselves even nearly as important as men. Rowling shows everyone that a woman does not need to have good looks or a beautiful voice to become successful and an inspiration to others. I feel a special connection with this: my mother worked on promoting women’s rights for almost ten years. She conducted numerous seminars, and even spoke at an United Nations assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. Moreover, Rowling, being such an inspiration for women all over the world, reminds me of my mother, and this makes that special connection personal.

Another reason why I admire Rowling so much is how involved in philanthropy she is. She has donated millions of pounds to various charities, such as Comic Relief. However, most of her donations have been made to organizations that are trying to find a cure for multiple sclerosis (Rowling lost her mother to this disease). I know what it feels like to know there is nothing medicine can do to save your loved one. A cousin of mine was diagnosed with this illness a few years ago. Her parents are doctors, and I remember how hopeless they feel, since there is no known method of treatment. No one knows what causes this ailment, or how to treat it. Only through research can these mysteries be solved. Alas, research is costly. Therefore, I am thankful Rowling donated some of her money to helping scientists develop and test new drugs—maybe it will save my cousin.

Perhaps the most important reason why I look up to Rowling is how she helped me appreciate reading. Her well-formed, amusing characters and intricate detailing developed my imagination. She gave me the willingness and hope to believe. At the end of eighth grade, I felt miserable because I knew that my parents could not afford a private high school and I had to enroll in a public one. Nevertheless, when I heard about the scholarship at NOVA, I immediately applied. Even though many of my classmates told me I would never get it, that my chances were very slim, I still believed. For that is what I learned from Rowling: always believe. And I got the scholarship. Believing does not make me a gullible and susceptible person; it makes me have a positive outlook on the world and life in general.

Rowling has been my role model for various reasons. She definitely had an impact on me and my life. If she had not influenced and inspired me so much, I probably would have been a completely different person. I find shelter, solace in her work, but also a friend. A friend that I know well by now. And with some degree of certainty I can say that I will probably keep coming back to Rowling for years to come.

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