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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Soapbox: Charlie Sheen, George Clooney and Patch Adams

I am continuing to work my way through Dr. Patch Adams'  Prescription for the World... his ten questions that could change society. It has proved an interesting, challenging ride. Today's is his #3:

If compassion and generosity were the measure of success that money and power are now, how would your life change?

Soooo, I have been thinking a lot this week about how much time has been spent by how many people, listening to stories of misbehaving celebrities. Last year it was Charlie Sheen.  Talking about Charlie Sheen.  Debating, Berating, or Accepting Charlie Sheen.  ALL of my kids know who he is and according to them, everyone at school was talking about Charlie Sheen. He still comes up a year later.  And Lindsay Lohan.  Or the millionaire polo player involved in a deadly hit and run accident and who "adopted" his girlfriend to protect his fortune!

Here is my thought.. Perhaps as parents we need to openly and consciously celebrate compassion and generosity out loud, in our conversations with our kids.  They say that child's body image is negatively affected if we always talk about trying to lose weight ourselves.  What if the same is true about compassion and generosity? 

There are celebrities who measure their compassion and generosity as part of their success.  There are people with money and power who see that as a tool for compassion and generosity. Consider how much time the news, the television, the water coolers, and maybe we have spent discussing Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen's choices and values.  

How much time have we spent discussing Bill Gate's, Bill Cosby's and George Clooney's use of their fame, wealth, and power. Famous people, powerful people, wealthy people CAN and DO measure their success also in compassion and generosity.  THEY are the celebrities we should be talking about. Do our kids even know who Patch Adams is or what his goals were? 

And why just celebrities?  Let's find the George Clooney's and Bill Gates' of our own communities. Let's celebrate and talk about their choices to our children.  Let's find people around us who DO measure their success by their compassion and generosity and surround our children [and ourselves] with those people.  

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