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May 7, 2009

One way to set an example...

There's a long-standing tradition in motivational speaking, to have been the worst example of whatever it is you're railing against. But you add to that the indignation and piety of the reformed example. You show those who are teetering on the edge of being what you were, that they can avoid it, they can succeed.

And so this morning we read that dumped unwed mother Bristol Palin, daughter of world-famous soccer mom Sarah, is now an apparent self-appointed Abstinence Ambassador, expressing how not having sex is the only way to truly avoid unwanted pregnancy.

While we can all have a good laugh on this, and the fact that the baby-daddy is on TV saying how abstinence is unrealistic and is "really hard for teens." That Bristol has a family support system that will insulate her from the real pain of unwed motherhood, and likely land her child in a Alaskan government job some day regardless of the inevitable home-schooling. But that's too easy. 

We must instead recognize that this is a traditional pose.  Those who are put into the limelight, embarrassed by what would otherwise be a private matter now trotted out on the global stage by a familial association, have a choice.  To either ease themselves out of that same light and make every attempt to regain privacy, or choose to regale themselves in that same light; either becoming some form of clownish entertainment, or taking the pose of reformer.

And in this case, like her mother before her, Bristol has decided to embrace her role as the reforming clown.

OK, now you can laugh.


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