Monday, October 26, 2009

A tale of two

In life one does not always have control of the cards they are dealt. Often people must overcome tremendous odds to have any chance of success or to even bring their lives up to 'average numbers' as measured by the charts (depending on whose numbers you choose to believe). I believe most who work hard typically will overcome most obstacles. Life is not fair by any stretch of the imagination. It is the internal devices that drive most to succeed.

What frustrates the average person is someone who has built in advantages and does not make full use of them. And believe me, I'm a very typical and average person by the numbers; height, weight (cough), income and status. My siblings and I were blessed with parents that cared and loved us and gave us discipline and guidance. When we underperformed we were told about it in no uncertain terms. They didn't expect us to be perfect but they did expect effort. Those who succeed even with advantages should be looked to with some amount of respect for using those blessings to help those around them and/or make the world a better place.

As an example, let us take two 'imagined' characters. Let's call one, hhhmm, 'Paris', and let's call one 'Ivanka'. Now 'Paris' and 'Ivanka' both come from very well-to-do families with generational money. Both are celebrities and are in the news from time to time. Now, 'Paris', even after having attended prestigious schools most of her life is a flighty, air-headed bimbo who couldn't string together a sentence with multi-syllable words if you wrote them down for her. She has succeeded in making a name for herself by being the butt of jokes and making an 'interesting' video. Her opulent spending on unnecessary trinkets with no redeeming social value should do nothing but further her family's embarrassment. Unbelievably, that lifestyle has only grown her fame. She is famous only for having a famous name. 'Ivanka', with the same built-in advantages is educated, well-spoken, personable and possesses a high degree of business acumen. She sits on the board of companies, albeit a direct result of her lineage, but accounts for herself and is a polished individual. She is not flashy as celebrities go but has earned her own degree of success. There is a path laid out and a direction to follow. Obviously someone cared enough to intervene in her life.

In this star-watching, image conscious world who would you rather have your child emulate? If you want to be proud of your offspring the choice should be easy. Make them put away the glitter and the rhinestone purse and pick up a book lest they be bound to suffer the same fate.


  1. It's Red Ribbon Week at school and we've talked about having a role model. Maybe I need to go back and make sure they know what a real role model is - not some phone who's famous for being famous!

  2. A book?!? Who in the world reads a book these days?!?

    Besides me.

  3. I hope many do, especially unpublished ones on the web.

  4. I do! I read books! You even talked about us reading books one of those times!

  5. I know you do sweetheart, and I'm very proud of you for that.