If you won’t pay attention to me then I will just pay someone to

In the most recent TIME magazine there is an article entitled, Your Own Personal Paparazzi.  In this article it tells you how for a nominal fee you can pay people to follow you around, take your picture, and be annoying.  If you go with one of the more expensive packages not only will you get 6 photographers, but you will also get a publicist and bodyguard to yell at the photographers you payed to follow you.  The article goes on to state that these companies are popping up in major cities in the U.S.

Can I just say there are so many things wrong with this.  The biggest problem I have with this is that it just emphasizes the point that we are glorifying the all the wrong people.  We see Brad and Angelina, or Britney Spears being hounded by the press and think well they are rich and famous I think I want to be like them.  So this is just another way for average people to pretend to be someone they are not. 

We desire to be like these people why, because they can sing, because they can pretend to be someone they are not in a movie, well these are great reasons to make them our heroes.  This drastically effects the students I am trying to minister to everyday.  Many of them have chosen actors/musicians/athletes to idolize and no one seems to see the problem with this.  The problem is that they are choosing heroes based on accomplishments instead of based on character. 

When you choose a hero based on accomplishments instead of character, then that person can do the most immoral things and as long as they are famous they are still a hero.  This then leads to people acting completely stupid for the sake of getting attention because they have not accomplished anything of value lately, but still want to be popular. 

How about we start teaching our children to evaluate people based on character and not on accomplishments.  That way when they grow up they will be people of character and integrity, not people spending hundreds of dollars to be noticed.

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7 thoughts on “If you won’t pay attention to me then I will just pay someone to

  1. Well said. I run a program encouraging young people to embrace the right kinds of heroes. Character is the key. It’s funny that you use Brad and Angelina because I think they both have a lot of character and caring but no matter what they do to help other people they can’t escape the Hollywood attention.

  2. Matt,
    Thanks for the word. I have to say I did not pick Brad and Angelina for a specific reason they just came to mind. From what the media tells us they do a lot of good will for others.

    Would you agree that most young people are picking their heroes based on accomplishments and overlooking character? What methods do you use to help young people understand the flaws in this?

  3. I would say most young people are idolizing people based on accomplishment, money, and fame. I have found that most kids know what a hero is – I only infrequently get someone suggesting a celebrity as their hero.

    I get kids to think of themselves as the heroes of their own stories and then extrapolate that to everyone around them. Then we move onto the heroes that people talk about. They’re talked about because of their character.

    You can see more at thejanuscenter.com/heroworkshop

  4. Short answer is yes. I don’t use the world idolize with them, but they understand that while they may want to be as rich as Paris Hilton she’s not a hero. They may want to pass like LeBron James or Peyton Manning, but they know that’s not enough for them to be heroes.

  5. Matt,
    So how do you get students to realize that being like Paris or Peyton is not all life is about? My experience has been that students only see what is right in front of them, and for most, what is right in front of them are the people on tv and movies. I have struggled getting students to understand that the decisions they make now affects their legacy.

  6. Sorry about the delay in replying.

    What I’m doing is encouraging them to pay attention to the heroic people out there and tell others. The main way is through my website. There are over 150 heroes there for them to read about and they’re invited to add heroes themselves.

    That’s the putting heroes in front of them I’m trying to do. Obviously TV has a bigger pull than I do, but after each workshop I do the kids are in agreement. It’s just up to them to follow up.

    I’m not expecting every kid is going to change the way they choose role models, but if one kid gets it, that’s one more than there was before.

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