Monday, November 14, 2005


Who Is Watching You!

I have read and seen many interviews by those who are involved in professional sports, television and movies. One thing that was constant in many of the interviews by those who were excelling was this, some who needs the support of their fans to spend their dollars to attend their events seemed to always announce that they were not role models. Especially when they have been caught acting poorly in public.













I can recall Charles Barkley rambling often and so many others that same phrase, 'I am not your children's parents, teacher, preacher, or role model'. But let me say this: I beg to differ. This is why. As people who are seen as leaders in their chosen fields you have a moral responsibility to act in accordance to a moral standard, which simply means to be respectful law-abiding tax-paying contributing citizens. If you are someone who is in the public face and have the attention of our children and others, you can't help but be a role model whether you want to or not.

Trust me there are so many more from Whitney Houston, P Diddy or Puffy, Eminen, Anna Nicole Smith, Pete Rose, most of the folks in President Bush circle, Martha Stewart, Charlie Sheen and some of his brat pack pals, Hugh Grant, and others, too numerous to name.
You probably did not go into your chosen fields to be a role model, but you expect others to patronize your services, so whether or not you wanted to become a role model or not, you are.

Even me. As a columnist, author and a manager in a highly visible position I must act accordingly. No I didn't ask to be a role model but people are watching you because they want to be just like you. There are so many people who are trying to find themselves. They are watching what foods you eat, the clothes you wear and the things you do. They are not watching out of envy but out of admiration. They are young folks who are developing into her adulthood. They are seeking careers and looking for a place in life to be a part of. What if I or you were a drug abuser, a husband beater, a robber or a murderer, they would be so disappointed that they may just give up.

It is important that we show a public face in a respectful way. I say this because each of us whether we admit it or not became who we are in our chosen fields or joined a gang or chosed what ever we are doing because there were others before us who paved the way...

Ponder this! Is someone watching you to decide his future...be careful because you never know who you might be impressing.


37 comments:

jus`writn said...

U're right because U never know who's watching U & even imitating what you do. I believe the first set of role models are those @ home, starting with our parents.

Brea said...

Very true - you never know who is watching. I am going to be a teacher next year and I take that very seriously. I know there are a lot of things about my lifestyle that need to change.

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." --Henry Adams

Of course this doesn't apply to just teachers...

art said...

Celebrities and sports stars are role models weather thry like it or not. But, it is ultimatly the parent's responsiblity to instill morals and values into their children so that they may grow to become a happy, succesful, and productive part of the cummunity.
Nice blog~Art

ByeBye said...

Hi Rose... just passing through. I tagged you go and read my last post. Have a good day!!!

I've never looked at people outside my own family as a role model because when we start placing too much value and expectation on others... especially those we don't know, we are subjecting ourselves to a let down.

One thing I've learned as I travelled is that people have different morals, values, and beliefs, it changes from one person to the next in this diverse melting pot of personalities.

Unconquerable Soul said...

i just had my end of the year evaluation and i must say my superious said the same thing.. you never know who is watching you... great post

Michelle said...

Rose -- continue to use your influence for good. It's true you never know who is watching you and you never know how what you do, say or write is going to make an impact (positive or negative) on a person. Now that I'm a published author, I realize that more than ever!

Be blessed, dear.

Deb S. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Deb S. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
defiant goddess said...

I agree that *everyone* should be mindful of how we move through the world because we each have an impact. But I also think that celebrities shouldn't be held to sainthood standards. They are vulnerable folks just like the rest of us who make poor decisions sometimes.

Artists tend to be inclined to self-destruction (I don't know why that is) so perhaps because famous artists tend to suffer consequences in very public ways - thanks to the media? - they seem crazier than the rest of us.

And maybe that means they have to be *extra* careful, but I wonder if it's really fair to them. I can only imagine the tremendous strain one is under when they are the object of constant public scrutiny --- on top of their pre-existing inclination to self-destruction. It is an interesting study indeed.

Deb S. said...

I agree with Envizable and Goddess.
Good points by everyone.

Rose said...

Jus' writn:
you are correct in saying that the first role model is the parents. Our children do best with us because they trust and love us. Though we may tell them everything that we think is good for them, values, moral, spiritual, etc. We have to be realistic in knowing that many children pick role models outside of their families.

Brea:
There is a huge expectation about teachers. This is because there are some parents, and lord knows I work with many who thinks that since teachers have their children almost 8 hours a day they should be a good influence as well as role models. I'm not saying you can't party or drink...I am saying this....why did you become a teacher....is it because your mother or aunt was one, or is it something that you saw in a teacher that made you want to the same?


Art:
You are correct. I'm not saying that celebrities can't have a private life, I am not saying they don't make mistakes but I am saying there are millions of kids who want to be just like them, some of the parents are drug addicts, absent from their lives, so they seek a positive image somewhere else. We should care about what our children's futures look like and if we can influence it to be better, yes...let's do so.

Envizable:
You are right too. I looked to my parents for role models in values and morals, but my dad was a mechanic. Yes he made great money but I didn't want that neither did three of my brothers. We found occupations outside our home from people we respected.

Unconquerer Soul:
If you were late for work everyday and no one said a word, how many folks would try to do the same. Employers appreciate role models who work hard and show team work. In my case it meant raises and promotions.

Michelle:
Yes. I am told that by the general public all the time. I have my habits, or vices but they are mine. They are not for the public. You have to respect you and how you appear to others to understand this: Once I went to a club and had a glass of wine in my hand, with a short sexy skirt on and I saw five of my clients and one of my employees. I left. That was not the impression I wanted them to have of me. I found another place to go where I could be me without dealing with the consequences later. You know the worker who tells everybody he or she saw you and what you were doing. Supervising folks is a big enough challenge then to add more stuff to it for them...

dcs:
everything you said is correct. superstars have the right to be them. They have a private life. They multimillion dollars contracts to play...but would they get that if no one liked them or went to see them play, companies can't pay them what they don't have...take Terrell Owens...see how folks are condemning that brother...he's crazy...they should dump him...is he mental...what has happened to him as a result of his actions...his fans are saying he deserves everything he is getting..remember Lawrence Phillips: what did he lose with his behavior of domestic violence, running folks down?...how many kids wanted to be like him until he acted a plum fool?
I am not asking people to stop living their lives but if you are in the public and you want something from the people, maybe you can at least try to have a positive front....with that said....my daughter wants to be a teacher and own her own day care...you know why because she has worked side by side with me in community projects, she has assisted others in giving food baskets, but she loved her first teacher and the impression that she left on her was one that decided her career choice. As with me, my decision to be an author came from my love of reading selected authors and feeling how they inspired me, so I wanted to do the same. Being a business women came from my observing savvy, educated, well dressed successful business women and I aspire to do the same. So DCS in the words of my father, it is not what you do that inspires generations, it is how you do it, that makes a difference.

Goddess:
As usual you make some pretty heavy valid statements...I agree but as I see the destruction of our youths, the elimination of families, the dismantling of churches I am reminded that there must be some good somewhere that we can draw from.

brooklyn babe said...

moBig Brotha is always watching, him and "Wendy Williams!" Lol!

Deirdre said...

You are so right ma! See famous ppl don't realize it, but their lives are being watched by young ppl all the time and they act out only what they see...it's sad but so true...they should really be careful:)

Charles Barkley...Sheish!

jazeGma2 said...

do believe that when you are a leader, in the public eye or in the lime light of entertainment etc. This is part of the core of the position you hold whether you like it or not. We tend to do things because that’s what we want to do; it may be positive or negative sometimes it’s a bad choice or wrong decision. However, individuals of this stature have a certain amount of responsibility to others. It’s just like having common sense; we expect people to have it and when they don’t it’s like a sense of disappointment.

The character and social behavior of these individuals will always be emulated by others.

I agree.

Clay said...

wow look at Tracy Gold ... yes, it is true - EVERYONE is watching!

Ruben said...

I agree with you. I think that everyone has a responsibility to carry themselves well, but celebrities have an extra responsibility simply because they influence so many people.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I always like to think that God is watching me...not in like a scary, judging way, but in a guiding way. I like to "be" and present myself in an authentic way where I can sleep at night and know that I am a good person, y'know?

~Deb

NellaBella said...

I agree, you never know who is watching you! Hey rose, come look at my site, it has a new template and more!

Qivan said...

Part of the problem is the the cult of celebrity, like do I really care if Brad and Angelina farted, or smoked a joint for that matter no! Jennifer Aniston changed her hairstyle, you wouldn't beleive how many magazines that sells. Most celebrities are boring, save for the fact there famous, that's why there biographies are so awful.

Qivan said...

Please replace there with their, and believe with believe. Sometimes I post too fast...........

Stacy-Deanne said...

Here, here Rose! Us authors and ANYONE in the public eye have a responsibility to hold ourselves in a positive manner for our fans and community, etc. It's BS when one in the public eye says they are not anyone's role model because once you are out there you are automatically going to attract a following and it's important that we understand that. I think the role model excuse is for public figures who know darn well that they aren't going to do the right thing in the first place. That's why I hate today's rappers and the hip-hiop industry as well as today's basketball (so-called) stars because it's these who little kids imitate the most and that's why many minority communities especially are in the terrible fixes they are now. If it weren't for a lot of these rappers, kids and teens would have a goal to do something in school and in real life other than seeing who can dress like some low-class, drug-dealing, criminal killer with a microhone. So yes, we all have a responsibility to act a certain way and I am sick of public figures who think they don't. As someone says it is the parents' job too but we all know that most kids are going to look up to others more than parents so that's why it starts with folks in the public eye. I have always had the gift of a great role model in my mother and I have looked up to other people but I wouldn't dare look up to anyone today if I was a child because it seems to be the worse of people getting most of the attention. Great post my literary sister.

Brownsoul said...

I agree, Rose. Whether or not you want to be someone's role model or idol, when you are put into a position of influence, it comes with responsibility.

My parents definitely believe that if parents raise their kids the "right" way then they will be okay, but I know that I've been influenced by many things that my parents didn't teach me...it just so happens that those influences are not visible to them.

DIVA said...

hey,

first of all thanks for visiting my blog. I too am a writer so it is good to run into to others around here who can feel my writer's block pain.

As for celebrities being role models, honestlyI don't think that most of them believe what they are saying half of the time. They just do not want to have to be held accountable for anything they do in the public eye that may be controversial. At the end of the day they know that people are watching and they relish in that fact but yet they claim, "don't look at me. don't do as I do." But how can we not? How can our children not? Celebs are walking billboards of what to wear and how to act so of course folks are watching and taking note. The whole "I am not a role model" thing is a cop out because no one gets to decide that for themselves. Role models are annointed and chosen by the masses not the other way around

James Manning said...

you are correct that they do bare some responsibility in regards to their position, but at the same time we place to much emphasis on entertainers. Their job is to entertain us, not raise our children. I'm not sure I would want Tom Cruise preaching to my kids because his is famous. It seems as though we ask them to be role models with conditions - under the condition you don't express a view that is different.

Hasan Mubarak said...

In this case, we cannot deny that our own self is in constant interaction with someone all the time.

First, it's the family, then friends and colleagues.

It means that everyone should start looking at how other people take his/her influence. That will result in demise of personal choice and private conduct.

However, to be a good citizen with better moral values is everyone's responsibilty and those, whether it be celebrities or a common man, who donot fulfill this responsibility, are not doing good to the society as a whole.

Shawn said...

I so disagree. We expect people to do things that we need to do for ourselves. I think instead of pressuring celebrities in to taking on a role most are not prepared to handle ie role model, we need to teach kids to be selective in the public figures they emulate. We need to tell kids the truth: not all public figures/celebrities are morally sound people. Thus, they aren't fit to be role models. We need to teach them that there's a difference between the Oprahs and Dennis Rodmans of the world. We need to teach...it's our responsibility...not a celebrity's responsibility.

Dee said...

Sooo true!!!! You never know who may be imitating you.....

Tre said...

It's LIke that annoying song...It always feels like, Somebodies watching me.

You just never know.

MsPlacedAmbition said...

i am a little torn on this topic. i do believe that ppl in the public eye should pay closer attention to the example they set, the messages their behavior may send, and how the standards they adopt may alter a young person's being. having said that ... i also strongly believe that parents are parents for a reason. yes, the media's influence on our children's lives is significant and very real. but we must remember that celebrities and the like are human too. they are going to do things for their own personal reasons and likely for their own personal gain. they have careers. we as parents must help our youth to put things in proper perspective. we must sieze those teachable momemnts when something is portrayed that we feel is not appropriate. use it as an example of what not to do. use it to create moments of communication about life.

i hope that makes sense. i am not excusing the famous, but i refuse to excuse parents as well.

i get your point tho.

lady in satin said...

Right on! I agree with you. I realize that I have to be more conscious of myself because I have two younger sisters who are looking up to me!! Its a great feeling, good source of motivation to always be a good person and some pressure. But nothing I can't handle.

E said...

I suppose I can see your point. Unfortunately since "celebrities" do put themselves out in the public light, they do have to be recognizant of their actions and who may wanna emulate them.

By the same token, I don't think people should be looking up to celebrities as a model for how to live their lives. That's not to say that won't happen. But we should be emulating the everyday men and women that are making a real difference in the community. But I know that's not realistic either.

***Double_Oh_No*** said...

Oh, Rose, this is such a great post. Part of our problem, as a society, is the emphasis we place on such entertainers. When I was in second grade, I remember having to go around the room and say what we all wanted to be when we grew up--every single boy wanted to be a sports star of some kind. When athletes are paid multi-million dollar salaries to play a game, of course children are going to look up to them. They're rich. They're famous. They get to play for a living.

And yet their moral conduct can be atrocious.

As a teacher, I felt a tremendous sense of pressure to walk the line around my students. It's not like I had to put a lot of effort into being a "good" person, but the fact is, the smallest thing can have the biggest impact on youngsters. One lie, one slip of the tongue, one little disgrace can affect the way the youth make decisions later on in their own lives.

With the same respect, we're all human and have a tendency to make mistakes. However, I realize the things you mention, such as murder and theft, fall under a different category all together. Those aren't just mistakes, but sinful acts against mankind.

crallspace said...

I love before and after pictures where it shows the person's downward spiral!

Mad Bull said...

I definitely agree with Shawn. People should be able to do what they want to do, to some extent, even if that is destroy themselves. If a man wants to drink himself to destruction, well, its his choice. Now if he happens to be some big singer or movie star or basketballer, its still his choice. He has his life to live and we have ours.
Parents have to try to raise kids to be selective in their role models, is all. It makes our job harder, but if you think about it, maybe we should blame the media for showing young minds all the bad stuff that this public figure is up to, rather than blaming the public figure themself, what do you think?

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