What We Say

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 9, 1998

L’Observateur / September 9, 1998

Mark McGwire gave America what it desparately needed – a break from the endless drone of bad news, filled with Clinton, air disasters, market crunches and horrifying crime. What McGwire gave America was a hero -someone you could actually point to for your children and indicate a positive direction for their lives.

Times are tough for parents. Parents have so much to worry about fortheir children, it’s intimidating even to have children. There’s thefashions, the music, the absence of moral leadership, the drugs, the violence, the vacuum of ethical standards.

Children today are much more cynical and lose their innocence about the world much earlier than their emotional development can handle it. Once,not that long ago, a child could hear “if you can’t trust the president of the United States, who can you trust?” and not begin laughing. Events ofthe last 40 years or so have pounded away at public perception of our national leaders, both government and business.

Many children today have the perception that the world is going to end soon anyway, so why bother with education, morals, ethics or spirituality.

That has nothing to do with tabloid fiction or Nostradamus’s predictions.

On the other hand, all they are bombarded with are the scandals and disasters of the day. It’s no wonder cynicism is entrenched in our nation’schildren.

There are exceptions, of course. There have to be exceptions or wecouldn’t go on ourselves.

It’s people like Mark McGwire who give all of us hope for the future. Hereis an unalloyed hero for youngsters. Here is a good guy who achieves withhumility. Here is a person who works hard, his goal always before him,willing to do what he must to achieve that goal.

Heroes inevitably become tarnished. Mickey Mantle had a serious drinkingproblem which severely damaged his body. Presidents, past and present,have been shown to have tarnished souls.

For a brief, shining moment, though, children had a hero they could admire, not for what he did to others but what he did for others.

America needs a few more Mark McGwires.

America needs more heroes.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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