New heroes for the babies…

I recently attended a forum where I heard something disturbing (I know… It’s starting to sound like I attend a lot of meetings).  I don’t think it was so much what was said that bothered me, but more that this was not the first time.  One of the panelist commented that there were not enough role models for our youth outside the entertainment industry.  It’s not every child who is going to be the next Jay-Z, Tom Brady or Randy Moss.  Locally in Palm Beach County we do have home grown talents like Vince Wilfork and Devin Hester who have been making big plays in the NFL over the past few years.  Each of these men were on a high school teams with many other young athletes, but we’re not keeping up with their careers.

Is it that we don’t have role models or are we not showcasing them?  How many athletes do you know are now doing great things in the community?  There are many of them.  There are more young athletes from all sports who don’t get drafted out of high school and college then the ones who do.  We can’t forget the entertainment industry.  Lights! Camera! Action!  Mic check 1-2 1-2. Many people left these things behind and have pursued fulfilling careers where they are making a difference in our communities, but they don’t get the lime light.  The youth in turn don’t get exposed to them.  They don’t get to see the great running back who is a doctor; the star wrestler who is an attorney; the singer who now loves teaching her students; the actor who works with community youth… you get the picture.  They don’t get the recognition for making a change in the community. 

Many people in our society have become too focused on money.  Last time I heard a group asked what success meant to them, more than 75% (probably more) of their responses was about having money.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t want money.  I’ll pick a dollar off the ground before giving it a single thought, but I know there are other things in life.  My point is more that when we glorify having an exorbitant amount, we show kids that success means having a lot of money.  

We should really show these kids that they can throw a ball and then grow up to be CEOs.  Technicians, mechanics – If you don’t believe they can make a good living, check your bill (and don’t act like I’m the only one that’s ever been taken for that ride).  

It’s great to have children grow up and do the things that they like, but are we sometimes giving them the wrong idea?  More importantly how can we get more options in front of our youth.  They need to know that you don’t have to be a celebrity to live a good life.  Yes, I agree that parents should be the first role models for their children, but be realistic.  In many cases, parents loose cool points just by their children becoming teens (don’t worry parents, you get them back later… with interest).  The next best option is to get other people in front of them who they can still see as cool, and who are living the successful lives.  The challenge of-course is getting these great “role models” in front of our youth at the rate that athletes, and other entertainers are.  I know… that’s probably asking for a too much.  Especially when these groups bring in the money.  But then again Flavor Flav is on how many attempts at finding his next baby mama?  

There are so many reality shows depicting drama and vulgarity.  Could we possibly move some of that energy, money and good airtime to show a positive light on some of our local heroes?  People like us who do our thing and do it well.  I do have that thing with always asking for too much, but I think we could do this.  What do you think?  How could we make this happen?  Share your thoughts and ideas. 

I’m just saying though…

Dream Big… Live Bigger…

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