Monday, April 19, 2010

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged On A Scale From One To Ten

I understand that somehow, perhaps simply by the size of the paychecks that we award them, sports stars and those in show business are somehow due more of our collective scrutiny. It is a conscious decision one makes to enter public life. In spite of this, I do wonder from time to time just how I might stand up under that same microscope.
For example, how is it that we continue to feel the need to connect job performance to strength of character? The fact that a particular human being possesses an otherworldly ability to pull prolate spheroids from the air is not always found in concert with the ability to treat all humans and pets with respect should not come as a surprise. Statistics should prove that exceptional traits found in any given human being tend to found in narrow bands: physical ability, artistic talent, emotional stability. Finding those rare examples who happen to be stand-up individuals in addition to their other gifts seems like to much to ask. Once you get recognized for those unique traits, expectations tend to slide in the other departments. The phrase "Just Win, Baby," comes to mind.
Who cares if the pitcher, golfer, quarterback, or movie star is morally bereft and devoid of compassion as long as he or she can deliver a performance that causes us mere mortals to look on in awe? Once they start running afoul of the law, it seems like we don't have a lot of interest. When the police get called, suddenly it's in everybody's interest to say what they think of this degenerate's behavior. Truth is, it was probably in evidence for years before, but it was easier to focus on the box score or the box office than what happens for the other twenty-two hours of the day.
Charles Barkley once said, "I'm not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids." The Round Mound of Rebound has a point, but what about his kids? Just because someone has the strength to dunk a basketball, does that mean that person will have strength of character? Opinions vary. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

As much as we'd all like to define our jobs to suit our personal needs, it's our employers that draw most of the boundaries. Charles Barkley may not want to be a role model for children, but it's part of his job as defined by a lucrative contract that's supported almost entirely by his fame, not his athletic skills. His fame is based on the adulation of many, including children, promoted by all manner of publicity and merchandise, the profits of which flow into his pocket. Barkley and other professional athletes choose the limelight, and in doing so, choose to be role models for children, whether they like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Prolate spheroid - well played. I submit that it's more of a vesica piscis...let's discuss.