Kids are always looking for role models. We hope they seek good ones, but sometimes the good ones are not what they seem. When someone is in the public eye, they have a responsibility to set the right example.
Whether you are an athlete, an entertainer, a politician, or prominent businessman…people are looking at you constantly to see what you do, how you behave when the camera is not on, and how you treat the people you encounter. By the way, in this day and age it is wise to assume the camera is always on. Think about the people who have been “busted” because of off-hand remarks or antics that they thought were private.
Just this morning Trevone Boykin, the starting quarterback for TCU was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct. He punched a policeman in the process. He is one game away from completing his season and does this? What was he thinking?
It reminds me of the video that went viral of Johnny “Football” Manziel partying like a kid who had just turned 21. He lied about the video to his coaches and the owner of the Cleveland Browns…perhaps because he had just been named the starting Quarterback for the team! Guess what? The truth came out anyway. What was he thinking?
In the entertainment world, the list is endless as well. I saw a documentary yesterday on Britney Spears. Good grief. She had it all….looks, wealth, fame, incredible talent…and every young girl wanted to be Britney. What did she do? She got involved with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. Hmmmm…I wonder how that is going to turn out? Not good, obviously. She took a dive into darkness and it nearly killed her. I am not saying that Lindsay and Paris were the only contributing factors, but they put her on the slippery slope that just about did her in. Her reputation was ruined and it took years for her to recover from the madness. What was she thinking?
Of course, the list would not be complete without discussing politicians. You would think THEY of all people would know that people are ALWAYS watching them…especially the press. Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney (to a lesser degree), etc., all burst the bubble of what people thought of them. The first two were disgraced in office and Mitt lost the opportunity to be a serious candidate for President when he was secretly taped at a fundraiser saying: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.” What were they thinking?
Sadly, the list of fallen preachers and evangelists is too long to list. Obviously, none of these people were thinking clearly and considering the consequences.
What do we need as a society?
- We need role models who understand that character is revealed when you think nobody is looking.
- They do what is right, not what feels good at the moment.
- Their actions mirror their words.
- They have replaced their pride with humility.
- They surround themselves with people of good moral character.
- They admit when they are wrong and learn the lesson.
In the end, it is not how pretty or handsome you are, how many touchdowns you scored, how many elections won, how many records sold, or how many members you have in your church. What really matters is who you are when you call it a day. Be a role model for those in your family, your community, your business, your school, or whatever sphere of influence you have been placed in. Never forget that people are always watching what you do, what you say, and how you behave. Be a role model worth remembering.