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Be Careful Who You Choose as Your Hero
It's None of Our Business!
The whole Tiger Woods debacle has really made me stop and take a hard look at sports figures and celebrities in general, and how we, the public look at them. What is it about people that makes us think that someone should be a "hero" or role model, just because they can hit a golf ball further, swim faster, jump higher, run faster, or hit harder? Between the Michael Phelps marijuana incident, the slew of political scandals lately, and the issue with Tiger Woods, not to mention the coverage of Michael Jackson's death, Britney Spears and other musician's meltdowns, and any number of other public scandals, it has really begun to make me angry that we, the fans and public, think we are not only privy to the "inside scoop", but also think we are owed an apology by the offending person.
We are looking at the above-mentioned people as heroes, when we really need to be looking at our troops that go to war to defend our country and liberties, the police who protect us, the firefighters who save our lives and homes, and the teachers that go so unnoticed that shape our future through our children. I have a son that is both a math teacher and a coach, and he never has a spare moment in his life. Between getting his lessons ready for the next day, grading papers, teaching classes, then coaching whichever boy's sport is in season at that particular time and going to games (he also drives the bus that gets them there), he has to miss family functions at times, and does good to have any social life at all. I wonder at times if the poor guy is ever going to be able to have a family!
Then there is my brother-in-law, his father, and my father-in-law. These three all served in the military during their lifetimes. My brother-in-law's father especially risked his life daily as a fighter pilot, during WWII. He must have been very good at his job, because he was awarded several medals and was nominated for a purple heart, but refused to take it, saying he didn't deserve it because he "didn't bleed enough". He had gotten shot down in the middle of a mine field and somehow walked out of it without blowing himself up. I can't even imagine that kind of bravery! I used to listen for hours to his stories, and when I would show any type of amazement and tell him how brave he was, he would say "I was just doing my job". He is MY hero! He sure didn't make the kind of money Tiger Woods makes, either.
Which brings me back to my soapbox I was on. Why do we as a whole, look to the "celebrities" in life as role models, and then get angry when they mess up and show us their human side? Then, we get angry when they screw up and think we are owed an apology? Why should they apologize for being flawed humans? The only thing that makes them different from us is their particular ability that made them famous in the first place!
The money they make is what really gets me angry. We could use that money to house the homeless, feed the hungry, help children, and do so much REAL good in life, but no, we give it to these people, every time we buy a jersey or a cap, or any number of items with their name on it, or even buy a ticket to see them. Think of how much more our schools could offer to our children if they received even a portion of this money! I realize these people are taxed, and that the tax money is used, but we could come close to paying off our huge national debt if we put all of the salaries of all these over-paid celebrities together, other than a normal amount it takes a person to get by in life.
Blame the Media or Ourselves?
Should we blame the media, or should we blame ourselves for this type of "news" being such a big deal? Have we become a nation of gossipy voyeurs? It seems we can't get our fill of this type of stuff, even as we complain about it. I have found myself discussing Tiger Woods sex life more lately than the war, politics, and the things in life that are truly much more important in life. I suppose with our real lives and country being in such a mess, we all want to escape "real life" and this type of news is just what the doctor ordered. If we focus on someone else's problems, we don't think about our own problems. Plus, we, as humans, have the strange inclination to build people up, just to knock them down when they mess up. We expect perfection from our heroes, forgetting that they are human and capable of mistakes just like us. And, no-they don't owe us an apology, in my viewpoint. They didn't ask to be idolized or role models, we put them in that role. To expect them to be perfect is too much. We know we aren't, why should they be? The only real thing separating us from them is money and the perception we have of them.
Of course, it is a bit hard to move past something when it is on every news channel, talk show, magazine and wherever you look. People are constantly talking about the latest scandal until the next one comes along, debating the ins and outs of every issue like it was public policy or something that was going to directly effect our lives. If we paid as much attention to the important things in life, maybe this would be a better world. There are certainly much more important things in life. But, as long as this type of "news" sells magazines and attracts viewers, we will continue to be inundated with it. We can change things if we choose to, by not being participants in the sideshow. If they don't have an audience, they will quit talking and writing about it. As a matter of fact, I think I will end this now, because I don't want to add to the media hype any longer.