This I Believe

Melissa - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an ideal role model, as an emblem of strength and leadership, an embodiment of pure courage that everyone, especially young women, should strive to emulate. At face value, Buffy is a character of fabricated fantasy, a girl chosen to alone protect the world from vampires, demons, and enumerable other forces of darkness; she’s the Slayer. However, Buffy delivers more than demon slay-age; she is a consistent figure of good triumphing over evil, an idol for moral aspiration and perpetual persistence. Yet, her qualities, minus super-strength and heightened agility, are not inhuman; her struggles with inner turmoil, questioning of identity, and typical teenage and family drama are prevailing themes in the television show. Commonly, Buffy Summers doubts herself and makes mistakes; she even dies twice over the course of the series, but her own insecurities and reoccurring death do nothing to erode her eventual success; her strength lies in her pervasiveness in taking a stand when others fail to act, regardless of the circumstances.

Self-sacrifice is a value customarily emphasized in Buffy’s actions. In season five, Buffy’s mother dies and she is forced to drop out of college in order to provide and care for her orphaned younger sister, Dawn. That same season, she dies in order to save her sister and the rest of the world. This message of self-sacrifice is on an extreme and supernatural level, but is nothing more than the simple imperative of putting others before concerns of self-interest. Throughout the series, Buffy consistently fights for the good and well-being of the world and everyone in it, even when it is inconvenient, painful and down-right sacrificial. This promotion of the common good is something I strive to emulate, and, while I’ve yet to save the world like Buffy, I try my best to help others through participation in community service, fundraising for those less-fortunate, and in daily consideration of others, in order to perpetuate Buffy’s image.

I believe that everyone should have a role model, someone to appraise and idolize. Role models show us not perfection, but rather how to overcome our flaws and evolve as individuals. They show us, by example, how to endure, adapt and lead. In addition to their ability to provide affirmation, Aristotle speaks of the power of role model to further moral development. I believe that who someone’s role model is should not be of any consequence, but rather, what they execute and endorse should culminate their attainment of role model status. Upholding every asset I could ever hope to attain in my lifetime, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my role model. She promotes strength, leadership, courage, endurance, self-sacrifice, and compassion, along with a plethora of other attributes. This I believe: if everyone asked themselves, “What would Buffy do?” before acting, the world would be a better place.