Who's Next in the Public Eye?
I don't know anyone who doesn't want to be successful. We seek to achieve, elevate, gain status, and be paid without questioning what we will have to give the public. Most will say I owe the public nothing. However, think about the reality behind the question, what does the public want from those who have become successful?
Public workers, entertainers, sports figures, politicians... do they owe the public? Once they or their position, status, or who they may be employed by is in public what do they owe to the public? By being known, famous or not, having an event or incident in the media, is that an open invitation to the public?
By now, you're wondering what exactly am I asking. It seems in recent years, the more we have access to media platforms, the more we learn about the private lives of those who are in the public eye. We have the ability to see them on and off the stage, behind the cameras, off the courts, away from the office. We visit their families, their homes, tap into their vacations, meet their relatives. We are privy to their business transactions, sexual preferences, medical visits, maternity and births, divorces, and financial status. We read about their exploits, their habits, their donations, and participations... nothing is left untold.
As a state worker or public employee, your salary is posted, address exposed. They know your family, and they become a part of the public eye if or when you've had problems on the job or an encounter with the police. It is said that if you've bought a home, car, or any major transaction, it is public information. When is it too much?
What is considered private? A spat with a wife, son, or any other family dispute... would you want yours aired? A relative having an addiction, mental disorders...would you want that aired? You donated to a charity... would you want to be ridiculed because you didn't give to a local charity instead? You bought a home away from your childhood neighborhood...should that be aired?
Everyone has the freedom to live and be successful. To spend their time and money when and where they want...and not be scrutinized for it. Why do we expect so much more from those who have elevated themselves? I think there are some instances where we, the public and the media, have imposed our curiosity on personal issues. If they agree to share, fine but should we expect to know it all... no.
Who is bringing the personal life of these figures to our attention? Some of it is an invasion of privacy. Now I am aware that it creates a stir, a wave of publicity for the person or product. There are times when the family is exposed and they are not a part of the platform. The wife whose husband has cheated during a gala or made sexual advances at the office party; the basketball star who has created a foundation in another country and refused to do an interview to explain his/her reason; the divorce settlement... when it's not a legal violation, a strike against humanity or a question of our civil rights, why do we need to know.
An invitation into one's personal life... do we really have a right to judge another's choices? Do we really have to weigh in on what they name their children, or who they marry? Do we want the public eye in our affairs like that? Do our families want to be exposed? Do we own our communities our lives, our personal secrets, our faults, and the faults of those we love? I think it's a bit much.... even if it's entertaining, reality, or newsworthy... it's private.
The humiliation we extend in many of these reports brings discord to families, businesses, and the community. It does more damage than good... so why... do they really owe us their lives, their success?
Just a thought!