Don't tell me Tiger Woods shouldn't be a role model; like it or not, we all set an example
This just in: Tiger Woods is human.
I read that this morning in my local newspaper by a Johnny-come lately sports columnist who I think was trying to point out that athletes shouldn’t be our kids’ role models.
No kidding, Tiger is human. I didn’t know that. Can you please give us a little credit?
The columnist wasted about 20 inches, making the same point over and over again. And while I can’t believe he was giving Tiger a pass, he did, in a very roundabout sarcastic way, put the onus on parents to serve as role models.
My guess is that this columnist has not raised any children to adulthood. Those of you who have will relate to what I’m about to say.
By the time kids get to be teenagers they are looking to anyone but their parents as role models. I speak about this from experience. In fact, in many cases, the better example that parents set, the more likely the kids are to rebel against the parents. It’s a natural part of growing up.
But the competition parents have from outside sources serving as role models is overwhelming these days. The entertainment industry says it only reflects society’s values. I beg to differ. It amplifies them and teaches them to our young people. As our moral values decline, movies, TV and music reinforce the notion that it’s not only OK to get high, get drunk and sleep around; it’s an accomplishment. (And don’t even get me started on rap.) How many times have you heard someone brag about how wasted they got at a party or an event? It’s like a badge of honor.
Charles Barkley was wrong. Good or bad, he is a role model to our kids, and he’s been a poor one at that. Same with Kobe Bryant, same with Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Tom Brady. And for God’s sake, our politicians sure as heck should serve as role models.
President Bill Clinton was a pretty smart guy, but an awful role model. By his actions, he told millions of young and old Americans alike that it’s OK to cheat on your spouse ? multiple times if you want to ? because there really wasn’t much in the way in consequences. Yep, that’s pretty much the message he sent.
What exactly Tiger did wrong still isn’t clear. But where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and there’s a lot of smoke. My guess is that he didn’t make one mistake; he continued to make them over and over again, and would have continued on that path had he not been caught. I’m not so convinced he’s not as much sorry about his transgressions as he is about being caught. If he was, he’d make a live statement, instead of hiding behind the carefully crafted words on his Web site. And he should get off his soap box about his right to privacy. He lost much of that a few hundred million dollars ago when he decided to use his image to take our money.
(By the way, I am of the belief that nobody truly earns a billion dollars; they are merely fortunate and talented enough to be in a position to receive it. In other words, there are millions of people who work harder than Tiger that don’t earn .01 percent of what Tiger gets.)
So those of you who are saying parents need to role models ? you are correct; we do need to be role models. But so does everybody else, especially famous people.
And lest we not forget, many kids today don’t have two parents growing up. Some of them don’t even know who their parents are. And many of them have parents who have hit rock bottom. Where are those kids supposed to find guidance if their parents are lost causes? At the church they don’t attend? From the scout leader they don’t know?
And by the way, this just in as well ? Tiger is a parent. So who will his kids turn to for role models? Their mom, I would think, and hopefully, a truly remorseful dad. But hopefully they are able to look up to a few other people in society who live their lives in a responsible, admirable manner. What a concept.
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