February 22, 2018

The Dangling Carrot of Fame and Fortune

by Lillian Sanderson

As I read the local paper and see the many sports scores listed, I can’t help but think of the thousands and thousands of children in all these athletic pursuits hoping for the chance to be a star.  Having team spirit and working with a caring coach is a fond memory for many parents.  They want to encourage their children to take part in as many sports as they can possibly work into their schedule.  The goal, ideally, is to have the child learn to work with others on a team.  They hope to find the one sport that each child will love enough to excel in playing.


There is often another goal lurking in the mind of the parents:  scholarships to college, winning competitions, or ultimately the tiny little minute chance to be the next big star.


Fame has become so overused with the reality shows’ participants showing up on magazine covers and on talk shows.  They become famous because they put themselves on Youtube or do something outrageous when the cameras are running….and the cameras are always running.


How difficult it has become for parents to find role models for their young athletes or artists. It is almost impossible to find any that are not in scandals that give them more attention than their skills.  In the past we just did not know every little thing that the sports stars said and did; we only knew they were the fastest or the best.


Sometimes being really, really good at something is not enough to make a good living.  The game or the talent needs to be the extra in life rather than the means to live.  Music, sports, art, and performing are the icing on the cake.  Having the proverbial “something to fall back on” if you are not able to make it to the top is still the best advice for the talented young person to receive.


Training in some practical, needed, job securing type of career should never be ignored.


It may not be what students really want to do, but that is ok.  When they are done with their work day, they will be able to afford to do what they love!  I would never discourage the artist, actor, golfer, musician, or soccer player, but the real world only has room at the top for a very few of these special talented individuals.  Insuring that you will be able to seek out these activities that you love requires that you can support the pursuit.


In my opinion, the quest should be the goal of security and independence; so that you can truly enjoy the things you love to do.  Work is not a dirty word and it is not synonymous with boredom.  It is what you do to take care of yourself so you can appreciate the time after work when you practice your passion.  And who knows, if you continue to practice, you may just be the next big star!


Lillian is a midwestern motDangling Carrother of 5 grown children and a grandmother of 10.



  1. This article rings so true–my boys do all kinds of sports, but we are always realistic about their futures and school always comes first at our house…there are great lessons to be learned from sports, but you are so right..only the very top kids will ever be able to use athletics to support them in the future! How many kids (even the stellar ones) actually became superstar athletes? Not many…thank you.

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