Friday, June 08, 2007

The Simple Life

I wasn't going to post anything on the Paris Hilton saga. But the intense interest this story has generated thus far, by far surpasses any other story covered today.

While the G-8 was meeting about matters that may affect billions of people, the media was deeply obsessed with one little person who promotes no theories, and makes no policy. Basically. she is of none effect, except to present a poor example for those that are in the formative years of their life.

Why do I say this?

I don't think Putin was much affected when was promoting, his counter proposals. Nor do I think she was at the front of William Jefferson's mind, before and after he entered his not guilty plea. And, I really do not think it weighed heavily on the Iraeli Prime Minister's psyche, while he was announcing Israel would cede the Golan Heights region to Syria.

You see, the world is a complex place that requires attention to be placed on significant issues and events; and frankly, Paris Hilton's legend really isn't much of a factor at all, when you see the big picture. It's not so hard to understand this, when you realize where this falls in the pecking order of importance.

But today, the attention was swung toward a young girl that has had much of it in her life, mostly because of who she is and nothing else. This was a day that a real simple person was able to knock the threats of Putin, the immigration bill, and the post-debate chatter, right off of "lead story status" without as much as a blink of an eye.

Don't get me wrong here. In a parental way, I do feel sorry for her in some ways. And here's why I say this.

Paris has never had to cope with disappointment a day in her life. She never earned or worked her way into success, she never had to go without something because it wasn't in the family budget. Mommy and daddy never allowed her to suffer loss and feel pain, not without smoothing it over with material things to soothe her broken spirit. She was never made to be accountable for much of anything.

Kids that grow up with this level of privilege and affluence, rarely get the opportunity to experience sadness without some kind artificial pain killer to put the smile back on their faces. They never learn how to process adversity in a healthy way, which is a way that leads to the development of healthy coping mechanisms. In fact, many children of privilege develop some very dangerous maladaptive coping mechanisms to ease their pain and manipulate those around them, when others do not give into their every want and desire, like their parents did.

With all of that said, she did the crime. She got popped "driving while suspended" not once but twice. She was late for her hearing. In essence she felt that in the end, the law did not apply to her. Even more than that, she flunked the attitude test, which is the first test you have to pass when you face a judge. So now it is known by all, she has found out it's hard to win friends and influence the judiciary, especially when she tries to manipulate a credible judge that respects the rule of law (and applies it fairly).

For that, she is being taught a lesson (but only if she learns it).

To make a long point shorter - like many of us, Paris didn't get her way today. But it wasn't the end of the world for us. We just plugged along and dealt with whatever we were faced with. Yet in some odd twist, this by itself was not the gem of this story. The real clincher of this whole thing lies in the form of a most intriguing case study that reveals to us all: What can happen to a second generation spoiled brat, when they have to come to some stark realizations.

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