Living on the edge

Its a familiar headline: Celebrity enters treatment to work on personal issues. How often do you read that online, in newspapers or magazines and hear it on TV? Probably more often than you care to hear or read about but nothing out of the ordinary.

Celeb’s have been out of control long before names like Lindsey Lohan, Miley Cyrus and Mel Gibson hit the scene. With new technology, news is flying faster across the globe through the Internet and via cell phones and iPad’s than ever before and it keeps improving every day. Anyone can upload a video or write a blog and immediately capture an audience. Sites like TMZ, Pitchfork and my own lousy, measly blog can entertain and inform the public. Sadly, we more often than not hear about the sordid side of Hollywood. We thrive on the controversial, can’t wait for the next scandal and there are even betting lines in Vegas where you can put money down on the next time a celebrity goes to jail.

I confess, when I was a kid I had aspirations of being famous. Who doesn’t? I didn’t know what it was that was going to make me famous but I looked at athletes, movie stars and singers, businessmen and knew that I wanted to be in the spotlight. But by the time I was well into my twenties I knew that the only light that would cast my shadow would be a LightBrite.

I encourage young people to shoot for the stars, but avoid being like the stars. There is something that happens to youths, child actors and child entertainers that sullies them, destroys them morally, corrupts their souls. Yes, not all of them fall into that rut, but there is a much higher percentage of these young stars whose lives are destroyed by the pressure.

One group of stars that survived the foreboding cloud of doom that follows young stars is The Jetts. They were at the very top of the music charts and the envy of every young, aspiring star. While other young musicians and film stars were out partying until the wee hours of the morning, the Wolfgramm kids were teaching other youths about their culture, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and doing what you rarely see in Hollywood and in the world of pop culture: Being role models.

So what is the difference between people like the Wolfgramm’s and the self-proclaimed ‘Winner’ Charlie Sheen and what can people like Sheen learn from them? Everyone has their theory and mine is probably no different from what many of you already know.

1) Parents – There are different types of parents but the ones I’ve seen do well for their kids are the ones who step in and give their child or children advice and direction no matter how difficult the situation may be. I was raised on the following: Teach them (children) correct principles and when they grow old they will not waver from them. My parents followed that advice and I’m planning on doing the same with my sons.

2) Positive Peer Pressure – My boys are surrounded by great kids. They make questionable decisions every now and then but when they are out and about, the likelihood of them making poor choices is diminished by the fact that at least one of them at any time, has the courage to stand up for what is right. Thankfully, their group of friends are smart enough to avoid bad influences. But when they have been in a dicey situation, they’ve always done what is right because they watch and support each other. Kids need other kids who are willing to do what’s right even when the world tells them not to.

3) A Belief System – We teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in our home. Others teach Taoism, Buddhism, Judaism and other ideologies. Regardless of your faith, the doctrine provides you with a foundation to help you avoid the pitfalls of gluttony, greed and deprivation. Like it or not, faith is what tempers our inhibitions and gives us a moral compass.

You don’t have to believe me. You don’t have to like me, but I have a firm belief that if the Wolfgramm’s were able to walk away from Hollywood virtually unscathed by living wholesome, gospel principles, than how come the rest of the world can’t evade the slippery slope by doing the same thing?

There’s a saying that is common among our kind: “Be in the world, but not of the world.” Step away from the edge. The Jetts did. So can you.

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