Thursday, June 14, 2007

ROLE MODELS


I have been watching a show on ESPN that is called "5 Reasons You Can't Blame." This particular episode has to do with Charles Barkeley's commericial in the early 90s in which he said "I am not a role model." When he said it he was crucified for that statement. In retrospect it seems he was correct. We have so celebrated celebrity some parents have abrogated their responsibility as parents, teachers, and adult role models to athletes and celebrities. I was always appalled to see young kids wearing Dennis Rodman jerseys. What were their parents thinking. Oh, they probably weren't. I think Barkeley was trying to say it isn't the job of celebrities and athletes (aren't they the same?) to raise anyone's kids. You made 'em you raise 'em. Being a parent isn't just a biological function. Quit doing what you want all the time and spend some time with your kids.


I think he had a point. You spend the time with your kids and it will be time well spent. Give the guidance they need and they will respond in a positive way. Being a good athlete in the scheme of life doesn't mean crap. Raising good kids, going to work to support your family, and doing the things a good person does are more important than hitting .300, dunking a basketball, or gaining a thousand yards rushing. These are small, small things compared to being a good parent. Being a good parent is a hell of a lot harder. I remember telling parents at DARE culmination ceremonies that if their kids aren't angry at them 90% of the time they aren't doing their jobs. It means you're giving in too much.

6 comments:

rightwingprof said...

I think "role model" is part of the cultural shift that has happened largely over the last ten years or so. "Role model" means "somebody who looks like me," and has replaced "hero," which means, "somebody who has done something admirable and whom I respect and want to be like." "Self-esteem," or "feeling good about myself," has replaced "self-respect," or "feeling good about what I have done and how I behave." Note that the distinction between the two pairs is the same: what I look like/who I am v. what he has done/I have done.

rightwingprof said...

By the way, today is the 792nd anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

Law and Order Teacher said...

As usual your insight is welcomed. I would submit that "role model" has even morphed into and is confused with "hero." This shift which you point out has rendered the term "hero" meaningless. There are very few heroes in life, but they are most certainly not sports/media celebrities. Soldiers in Iraq and other wars would be some that come to mind. Self-esteem on the other hand requires that the person feeling esteem about themselves need not do anything to gain esteem. They merely exist and feel good about themselves. With apologies to Decartes, "I exist, therefore I am esteemed." Or something like that. Thanks for your input, as usual it was insightful, however, you are not my role model or my hero.

rightwingprof said...

"This shift which you point out has rendered the term "hero" meaningless."

Exactly.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

I try to be a good role model to my kids, despite my faults which are too numerous to list here. Part of the problem is this culture where it's "not your fault" is the norm and not the exception.

When my kids screw up they get punished, when they do what they're asked they don't.

WomanHonorThyself said...

hi there!..well I dont think celebs are off the hook..sadly kids will emulate them and they know it.so it behooves them to act responsibly~!...my 2 cents!..nice site too..:)