Commodus is a poor leader for the people of Rome. That we also understand.
But how do we know what makes a great leader? What is at stake if somebody has poor leadership skills?
There is one thing that helped me to learn the qualities on what takes a great leader: the very leaders of my own life—my mom and dad. Today, my lesson for this film is how every parent has the responsibility to be positive role models for their kids.
Six-Word Lessons for Dads with Autistic Kids, Lesson #58: He Must Know When He’s Wrong.
It took me a bit longer than others over time to learn how to pick up social cues, which was why my parents helped me learn by being socially well behaved themselves, and making sure that I saw that, even today with me as a grownup. Too many parents underestimate the heavy burden that every parent has in setting proper role models for their kids. Gladiator therefore contrasts positive role model (Maximus) against how a negative role model (Commodus) should look.
Commodus does all he can to win the people over, with great emphasis put on the deadly gladiator games. He even strives to win the honor of his nephew, who boasts of how he much prefers Maximus as the “savior of Rome.” Maximus didn’t have to live under the same roof as a child to leave a greater influence than the child’s corrupted uncle.