Why the heck do we need role models? Can’t everyone just think for him or herself and make decisions about right and wrong and choices of action without somebody on a philosophical runway modeling what they could or should be?
Possibly…but role models alert us to POSSIBILITIES, in addition to serving as INSPIRATION.
Angry rappers role model distrust, rage, anti-social notions and actions: killing, raping, hating.
Stupid “stars” role model self-indulgence and excess, self-importance: self self self
Successful people who “pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps” role model perseverance, giving up a “victim mentality,” optimism and plain hard work.
Heroic types (military, police, firemen, and caring bystanders) who put themselves on the line of life and death role model taking care of others.
and so it goes.
These days, however, good role models are few and far between. Pastor Bill Shuler, of Capital Life Church in Arlington Virginia, pointed the way in his recent essay: 10 Reasons Why we Are Losing Good Role Models.
What follows is my paraphrasing of his list:
1. Honorable people are attacked for taking a stand for morality and values
The favorite attack here usually takes the form of being called either a “hater” or a “hypocrite.” If a person disagrees with you, you can say that they simply hate you or your stand, or that they once (usually decades ago) behaved contrary to their own words so therefore, they have no moral ground on which to defend their position. I don’t have to explain how ugly, stupid, and dangerous those approaches are to the well being of a civilized society.
2. High profile scandals in sports politics and religion have caused us to become jaded.
Yup – it’s hard to believe that a moral high ground even exists if the people you looked up to don’t respect what they have and the responsibility it gives them.
3. Fewer dads are present in the home.
Soon, most children won’t come from intact homes where they see a dad providing and protecting and teaching them how to be decent men and women.
4. Success has been defined as fame, fortune, and power.
We used to have the word “infamous” to describe people well known for skuzzy behaviors…now it’s all just “famous.” “Octo-mom” Nadya Suleman now has a television show because she’s famous for showing incredible insensitivity and irresponsibility in having 16 children with no dad or intact married family. If someone is rich (no matter how they got there), they have admirers.
5. Image often supersedes character.
Bad boys and bad girls reign supreme in our media-drenched culture. The more stupid and horrid their behavior, the more important they are to the media.
6. Indulgence replaces sacrifice.
Just think daycare.
7. The practice of self-discipline is losing ground.
If you “feel it” you have license to “do it” is today’s mantra. Consideration of consequences to others, as well as one’s own future, became secondary.
8. Seeking of “self,” on the other hand, is an over-practiced art.”
If I hear one more person excuse stupid, cruel, or self-indulgent behavior on the basis of “low self-esteem” or “I guess I have to learn to love MYSELF,” I think I’ll scream.
9. Family values have become a political issue rather than an ideal to be embraced.
The responsibility and obligation to spouse and children outweighs feelings and urges, which are temporary and often foolhardy.
10. Good people with deep convictions remain silent when they should speak up.
I have said it quite differently: way too often, good people are “wusses;” they are afraid to stand up (not without good reason…see #1), because they want to be liked. I have gotten myself into all sorts of trouble by “standing up,” so I know what it takes.
“Being beautiful, uninhibited or rich has become a cheap substitute for courage, decency and selflessness,” writes the Pastor. And he is so very correct. That’s why I often ask people to project themselves 20 years into the future, and then look back on themselves at this very moment. I ask them to tell me what they would need to do in order to be proud of themselves. It’s funny how they always know what’s right when looked at from that perspective.TrackBack URI
It pains me to state the obvious. I hate to remind people to ignore the unimportant. I often find myself asking, why do people obsess about idiots who are doing the wrong thing? But unfortunately the idiots seem not only to stick around, but the stupider they get, the more the media wants to talk about them.
And then they do something really dumb and I get really ticked off.
The octuplet lady… Let’s call her Ms. Mommy, because there is no Mr. Mommy in sight… is back in the news because, while she insists that she won’t take government money to help support her self-centered decision to have her own private herd of toddlers, she will take Mastercard and Visa — from YOU!
Yes — this mommy of 14 has launched a website soliciting donations to help her feed, diaper and toilet train these beautiful little gifts from God who, in reality, are now legally the chattel of the most narcissistic mother alive. So, if you want to make sure they get their Gerber’s, you better pull out your wallet because begging for help from strangers appears to be this woman’s new career path.
Now, it would be nice if I could at least say that Ms. Mommy learned HTML programming so she could make her own website. Then, at least, she would have a skill that she could use (at home) and make some legitimate coin while the kidlets are sleeping. But no, Ms Mommy’s got some Hollywood public relations firm to design and put up the site, complete with links to PayPal in order to slurp your money faster.
So is the money raised for the kidlets going to pay the PR firm for their web design? Well, FoxNews says “The website was created by the Killeen Furtney Group, a Los Angeles-based public relations and marketing firm retained by the mother following the birth of her six boys and two girls. Her publicist, Joann Killeen, declined to indicate how much had been donated thus far, but stressed that her firm designed the website for free.”
Pro bono? More like Pro Promo. Joann Killeen was a bit more honest and forthcoming just a week ago when she acted like the mommy of the moment resembled a cash cow. The Los Angeles Daily News reported on February 3rd: “Ms. Mommy retained Los Angeles publicists Michael Furtney and Joann Killeen on Friday and since then, the agents said they had fielded dozens of interview requests and offers for book, film and television deals. But Killeen said this morning that offers have not yet been reviewed. Some media reports speculated that Ms. Mommy might be paid as much as $2 million for an interview. Killeen said today she believes people will be ‘very impressed’ when Ms. Mommy begins relating her tale, ‘and we will work with our client to decide what’s the best vehicle for her to tell the story.’”
And all I keep thinking about is the 14 little children who desperately need a safe, secure home in order for them to achieve the American Dream while their mommy is whipping them around in her own personal nightmare.
Is there any good news here? Well, apparently the Bimbo Mommy has decided no more kids. In her maybe paid for, maybe not interview on The Today Show, she told Ann Curry the octuplets were a sign from God that she should stop having children. And according to the Associated Press, “she also said she’ll support her family on student loans until she finishes her master’s degree in a year or two and finds a job.”
Well, I support her decision to NOT have any more kids and I’m just waiting for the website where I can donate money to have Ms. Mommy’s tubes tied.
I am writing this blog on Nadya Suleman, octuplet mom, under duress. I was told that a significant number of you wished for my point of view or comments on this occurrence. My answer was, “Do I really have to comment on the obvious?”
I am disgusted with this woman for being educated in child developmental psychology and still intentionally robbing children of a dad (she had in-vitro fertilization with embryos from sperm donor) and the opportunity to get the kind of attention one out of fourteen children clearly won’t get.
I’m disgusted with the clinic and physicians who, knowing she already had six children and no husband or reasonable means of support (except for workman’s comp lawsuits), and frankly, must be somewhat emotionally troubled, still impregnated her with multiple embryos — more than the recommended number for a woman under the age of 35.
I’m disgusted with the media for making a big deal about these freak situations without proper judgment and criticism and for starting programs for “freebee” bailouts with charitable support.
I’m disgusted with Child Protective Services which I don’t think has even considered taking these children away from this self-avowed baby-mill and placing them up for adoption into two-parent households, with a married mom and dad.
Every Mother’s Day my psyche is assaulted with front page stories coast-to-coast about unwed mothers’ joy and glee and Mother-of-the-Year Awards to celebrity moms who clearly put their careers before their children (bless those who are “nannied!”).
So – this blog is in honor of and directed to the women who do it right: get married to good man who can support a family; wait until they’re settled and have the emotional where-with-all to sacrifice in order to receive the huge rewards of mothering their own children.
I’m sorry the media doesn’t care about you…but your husband, your children, Dr. Laura, and a society grateful for the wonderful human beings you raise do care about you.TrackBack URI