Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Fame And Folly
With the current state of social media, indiscretions can last forever on the Internet! This is about one of them, from May 4, 2013.
Reese Witherspoon was in the news this week and I called it to my students' attention. When her husband was stopped on suspicion of drunk driving last Friday, Ms. Witherspoon allegedly ignored the orders of the policeman and got out of the car. She asked the officer if he knew her name and he said her name didn't matter. The actress countered with,
"You're about to find out who I am ... You are going to be on national news."
Well, unfortunately she was right as she was arrested for disorderly conduct. She has since apologized profusely and had admitted to being deeply embarrassed by her behavior. I made the point to the kids that that's what an excess of alcohol does to you. Many movie fans hold Ms. Witherspoon in high regard and she probably did the best she could in damage control; and by all accounts, was sincere in her apologies. With another new video of the incident made public today, it will be quite awhile before the lady who admirably played June Carter Cash in Walk The Line lives this one down.
Last Saturday afternoon, I was lifting weights at Chancellor's, my fitness club. Twice within several minutes, I heard exercisers congratulate a man who, like me, is also a regular. I was curious so I asked Cindy, the manager, if she knew the reason for these expressions of admiration. She told me the identity of the man who was the object of the praise. It had just been announced that he was the recipient of yet another journalistic award for television excellence. I recognized the name but I had never attached it to the face. A Google check of his name revealed he has won many such tributes. I've lifted at the same time with him for two years but his line of work never came up. When we talk, it's been about his dad, a retired high school basketball coach, or some lifting technique or my going on a mission to Vietnam. This is what impressed me: he's never made a big deal of who he is and in Houston, he's a big deal. I just thought he's a well-spoken nice guy who knows everybody and comes across as being kind to others. Some folks don't need a public relations firm to create an image.
Recently, I've shown film clips to my students highlighting the mass of humanity surrounding Jesus. In one, the Savior is coming into Jericho where he meets Zacchaeus up in a tree. In the other, Jesus is coming into Jerusalem on what is usually called Palm Sunday. The point I tried to make concerned the crush of the crowds and the number of people who were trying to get close to and even touch Jesus. I asked them what it would be like to be in the inner circle of Peter/James/John and the rush of adrenaline that would accompany being in proximity to the Son of God as His popularity peaked...and how that might affect them. In my third period class, I asked Charles/Clay/Nathan what it would be like to hang out in public for a day with Dwayne Wade/Michael Phelps/Tom Brady. You might have guessed those three compete in basketball/swimming/football for our school and all are excellent athletes. Unanimously, they agreed it would be a chance of a lifetime to hang around with these sports superstars. And we talked about how it would be difficult for it not to alter the way they look at themselves. Maybe that's why James and John wanted to be VP and Secretary of State when Jesus unveiled the kingdom they knew He was preparing. Or why the apostles as a group were indignant when parents brought their toddlers to Jesus for a blessing. Or why John tried to stop a man who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus because, "he is not one of us.” Let me give you a great example of how to handle the spotlight. Our WCS football coach won the Heisman Trophy and our students don't make a big deal of him. Do you know why? Because he doesn't make a big deal of himself. Any glow we give off, and we are told we are lights of the world, should be to glorify our Heavenly Father and His Son. We carry His name as believers. That may not get us on TMZ...but is should keep us off TMZ. Reese taught us all a valuable lesson, and herself a tough one, concurrently.
Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:00 PM