Can you think of one person you idolize, admire and want to be like? Someone who has given you hope in life, perhaps a goal, someone who makes you feel like your dreams are not so far-fetched, after all.
Last night, I was filling out an application form, and the first question asked me about my role model in life. Only one name came to mind. Maybe on some level, application forms aren’t such bad things after all. More often than not, they make you reflect upon your aspirations and your stances in life.
Here’s what I answered:
‘When the world was busy running up corporate ladders and minting money, one man rose up to the challenge of poverty and pledged to create opportunities for the poor. Professor Mohammad Yunus. For me, he is the epitome of social entrepreneurship. What started as a US$27 loan is today a flourishing micro-credit industry, so alluring that even corporations are seeking to exploit it! Professor Yunus struggled against the conventional banking system, upheld his conviction in the credit-worthiness of the poor, and gradually won his way in establishing the Grameen Bank.
As an economics student, I am enticed by the way an academic and an educator like Professor Yunus has been able to stretch the sphere of education and blend into it entrepreneurship and a social cause. He has started something bigger and greater than just micro-credit; I believe that micro-credit is an agent of change, a legacy that will slowly bridge the income gap, and transform our world. I hail Professor Yunus’ belief in universal entrepreneurship – entrepreneurship that thrives irrespective of social background and financial status, entrepreneurship that takes birth in talent, drive, dedication and belief. Despite being renowned as the ‘World Banker to the Poor’, Professor Yunus is a picture of simplicity and humility. His work has convinced me that ordinary people indeed hold the power to change the world. For that, he is my idol, and for that, I am forever grateful.’
Who is your role model?