Misguided honor given to celebrities

The last six weeks have seen excess brought to the forefront. The award shows honoring musicians and actor/actresses and all the self-important people were almost daily. Baseball players testified before Congress on the state of the game and the current scandal. We hold these people up to be our heroes. Why? How do they contribute to society?

Sure they can make us laugh or divert our attention from other serious issues for a brief time. I give them credit for that, but is it worth the millions we give them and the adulation. Even the best-selling album or the highest rated television show or movie reaches a small percentage of the population.

I’m not saying that they do not deserve the money they’re paid. Every person has the right to earn as much money as they can. However, do we need to honor them with award shows and icon status while they serve only a small percentage of the people?

After the Sept. 11 attacks, athletes, musicians and movie stars were relegated to less favorable status. There were more important things to consider in the world than people who made enormous amounts of money and have little in common with everyday people.

Being a great athlete, musician or movie star does not make them a great person. The world paid tribute to the real heroes, but how quickly that has dissolved.

The heroes are the teachers, firemen, policemen and soldiers who protect us. Teachers give us the ability to explore our world and learn about other people and cultures. They give us the ability to make our own decisions and think independently. We thank them with little if any respect and only enough money to manage a meager living. Those closest to the children make the least money, while administrators, farthest from the children, make the most.

Firemen risk their lives to save us or our property. How do we honor their courage? Cincinnati recently closed some fire stations to save money. The firemen objected but nobody listened.

When was the last time you thanked a policeman for his service or the brave men and women of our armed services fighting for freedom around the world? The police have to deal with the worst element in society on a daily basis. The people most of us try to avoid.

The soldiers put their lives on the line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that we can live in peace. Yet we honor men and women who can sing, pretend or play games. Their self-importance is appalling. Our allegiance to them is disturbing.

Let’s honor the volunteer coaches that teach our children values. They teach how to win and lose with dignity. They teach life lessons that are important, like teamwork, that give value to us as human beings. We honor this service by ignoring it or by burdening them with trivial conversation on why our children should be the star or to keep a child with less talent from participation. The people who referee or umpire a game we honor with insults and on occasion, violence.

We honor the wrong people in society. The people who do the most good for the largest majority receive little to no respect.

Athletes, musicians and movie stars provide a valuable service. But in contrast to what others do it pales in comparison. If you want a hero to model your life after, find a teacher, fireman, policeman, doctor or nurse, a volunteer or a member of the armed services. Try to live up to their standards. Without them, what kind of world would this be?