Wednesday, January 13, 2016


We revere the greatness that comes from our sports stars or any celebrity we deem to hold high. We admire their talent, their accomplishment, their beauty or their potential. We appreciate their team or individual success. It inspires the individual in us to be better by practicing more, getting better grades, respecting our bodies, or extending a kindness to someone. When our heroes and stars have public failings it forces us to privately acknowledge our own.

When heroes fall and falter, the tendency is to focus only on the disappointment and not on the whole person. Mickey Mantle’s addiction to alcohol, for instance, while bad, both for him and as an example to young athletes, did not minimize his 536 career home runs.

OJ Simpson seems to be a case all by himself, but he is still included in the category of sports stars gone bad or celebrities who make bad choices. Michael Vick is another, as are Jayson Williams and Mike Tyson. And let’s not forget the conviction of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, The prostitution scandal of Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York, or the choices of President Richard Nixon.

Heroes and celebrities come in both genders and attain all degrees of fame and status. Parents, teachers, clergy, and politicians can be heroes and some will inevitably disappoint the family, the admirer or the fan.

Human frailty is universal. Greatness comes when we learn from it.

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