Picking role models

Public confessions of despicable behavior are all the rage among the rich and famous. Tell the camera tales of drug abuse and alcoholism, preferably with tearful eyes, and all related behavior shall be forgiven.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong upped the ante when he confessed to Oprah Winfrey his life as a fraud, liar, cheat and bully who has ruined the lives of others around him.

Hey, Armstrong: Owning up to it – especially without a hint of remorse – doesn’t make it OK. You remain a fraudulent, cheating liar who bullied your friends.

Armstrong’s confession competed for attention with the bizarre saga of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o, who told the sad tale of losing his girlfriend to leukemia even though the girlfriend never lived.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tiger Woods cheated on their wives. Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted numerous boys. Lindsay Lohan stole jewelry, fell out of her sundress on stage and drove drunk.

Google “celebrity scandals” and an endless array of stories appear. Famous people are human. Often, though not always, a fall from grace has the amazing ability to revive a stagnating career.

Poor behavior of the rich and famous, coupled with the NFL’s unmerciful rejection of Tim Tebow – a successful young quarterback with a talent for flaunting ostensibly good behavior – creates a dilemma for parents. . . .

Society must rethink how it chooses heroes. Stop confusing trophies, medals, fortune and fame with character. . . . Good character isn’t accomplishment. It’s the way we treat the people around us.

(This is a guest editorial from The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.