We pay homage to the rich and famous,

movie stars and celebrities,

The Julia Roberts and the George Clooneys,

The Miley Cyruses and the Lindsay Lohans,

the Paris Hiltons and the Britney Spears,

the Oprahs and the Chers,

The Tom Hanks, and the Sandra Bullocks,

or singers like the Barbra Streisands and

the Garth Brooks and the Trisha Yearwoods,

The Elton Johns, the Celine Dions, and the Taylor Swifts,

The George Straits and the Rod Stewarts,

and most of all the Michael Jacksons–

and sports figures like the Michael Jordans and

the Kobe Bryants and the Tiger Woods,

or even members of Royalty,

the Princess Dianas and the Prince Charleses,

and his mistress-now-wife Camilla Parker-Bowes,

the Duchess of Cornwall,

who hang their dirty  laundry on display

for all the world to see,

who, despite any misbehavior or misconduct,

in their private lives or eve in public,

continue to be adulated, admired and adored by the public,

Stormed by paparazzi, clamoring for a prize photograph

to sell to the tabloids, so that you and I can

be even more adulating, admiring and adoring,

and even when their personal lives are exemplary,

kept personal and private from the idolizing masses,

we devour every written word, expressing shock–

or glee–or knowing smiles–when one of our idols

takes a tumble from the pedestal,

and so we continued and admire a man who, even in

death remains one of the most recognizable faces

on the planet, despite repeated charges of child molestation,

charges that were paid off to disappear–

I wonder why our values are so skewed?

Why would anyone stand for hours in a line in the rain to buy a ticket

to see a “famous singer” when you can get a much better seat

in front of your own television set–you can tell me

that going to a concert is a happening thing

but I have been to concerts and they are greatly overrated.

I won tickets to see Tim McGraw an Faith Hill in concert

a few years ago; the noise level was deafening; the screaming,

of idolizing fans when Tim McGraw came on the stage

left me with ringing ears and a pain in my chest from the

thump, thump, thumping of the drums. We had to leave

early; I couldn’t stand the noise level. I said I would never

go to a concert again.

Why  do we so much admire someone simply because

a) they can memorize lines and be made up to look glamorous by

efficient make-up artists;

b) They have a God-given talent to sing or

c) they are extremely tall and can toss a ball into a hoop or

d) they can hit a little ball with a stick and get it to go into a hole

For this they should be paid millions and millions and be idolized by untold millions of adoring fans —


While, at the other end of the spectrum

we have unsung heroes around us all of the time,

the firefighters and dedicated police forces,

the teachers and the missionaries,

the volunteers in many different levels of life,

the children’s coaches who give their time freely

and willingly every weekend to teach our children

how to play a sport,

volunteers helping to sandbag when there is a mudslide threatening homes,

Volunteers leading horses out of fire-threatened canyons

and finding places for them to stay until the danger is past,

volunteers working at the friends of libraries sales–

all around us volunteers helping to clean  up the community,

take care of our children and grandchildren,

collecting books for sales and canned goods for food drives;

the unsung heroes whose only reward is knowing they have performed well, whenever, and wherever there is a crisis…and no one chases them down the street begging for an autograph, no paparazzi lurking around buildings hoping for a photograph…

these are the super stars to whom we should pay homage;

these are the human beings we should admire.

The next time you see a firefighter or a teacher or a policeman–tell them thanks. Thanks for being our unsung heroes.

Sandra Lee Smith

Sandy’s post note: I wrote this quite some time ago but never published it but in view of the recent fires throughout southern California, I felt it was still a good time to acknowledge all of our unsung heroes.






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