This morning there’s lots of tributes on Facebook to a US fitness guru and reality TV star Greg Plitt who tragically died when he was hit by a train yesterday in California and even though I’ve never heard of this person before I still feel very sad for his family, his friends and even his fans.
Reading through all the comments about the impact he seems to have had on a lot of people he’d never even met he seems to have been a really good guy – an inspiring role model for many.
As I’m reading the reports of his death and the many, many tribute posts. One thing is jumping out at me each time and I can’t help but wonder if other people are thinking the same thing or if it’s just me!
Please don’t take what I’m about to say the wrong way because I really wouldn’t wish losing a family member or a friend on anyone and I don’t want to sound unsympathetic in any way. But if the reports are to be believed (and I know it’s early days) then he was walking on the tracks with his friends in an area that pedestrians were not allowed to walk. Apparently he was taking photos and videos of the trains in an area that he shouldn’t have even been in.
At this stage, that’s not been confirmed (I don’t think) but if it is true then this could not have been a more senseless death – so many people are waking up this morning devastated because someone they loved or looked up to seemingly didn’t follow the rules. It’s just so sad!
If you didn’t know who Greg Plitt was until yesterdays tragic event (like me), Google tells me that he was a fitness guru / model / actor / reality star and was an all round inspirational man who was a role model for adults and young adults in the US.
Thinking about this got me thinking about what we, as parents, expect from a role model who many of our children look up to. And I’m not really talking about Greg Plitt now, I’m talking about role models in general. Do we have the right to expect someone who’s a role model to follow the rules and not to set a bad example for our children?
I feel like, as a parent, I want my children to look up to someone who is going to set a good example for them and not do things they shouldn’t be doing. I want a role model to be in the news for the right reasons and not because they’ve been caught doing something wrong. I want a role model to be wholesome and be seen to be doing good.
But is that reasonable? Just because someone’s famous and our children look up to them, do we have the right to expect them to act differently to how they would if they were just a normal everyday Joe like the rest of us?
As a parent, I want to say yes. People who our children look up to should be expected to act as the role model that our children see them as and that means no drugs, no smoking, no violence and setting a good example by following he rules and not doing anything that could influence our children negatively.
I’m not sure that I have the right to expect that in reality though.
What do you think?
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