I don't generally get involved in celebrities. I don't read shiny magazines and I could not name two characters from TOWIE if my life depended on it. I just don't care. I'm sure they are lovely people, but I'm just not that interested in other people's lives. I also don't take a lot of notice of what I read in the papers. Let's face it, a lot of it is probably made up and I can't help thinking that people like Jordan, Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, whoever is making this week's headlines, are just people trying to raise a family. Probably with the same issues and parent-worries that the rest of us have. Something happened yesterday, though, that made me want to write this post and I hope you will go on to see why it matters so much to me.
Yesterday, I watched a seasoned television broadcaster and interviewer humiliate and offend a good man. The man was Robert Downey Jr and the occasion was an interview about the new Marvel Avengers: Age of Ultron film. Firstly, here is what I know about Robert Downey Jr. On top of, obviously, being a talented actor with an almost endless string of acting and directing accomplishments to his bow, there is a side to this man that some of our press aren't so keen to publicise, presumably because sensation sells. There is lots of footage on Youtube, showing a man who goes out of his way to make time for his fans, particularly the younger ones. These are two of my favourites, but there are lots of other examples.
During the interview, questions were asked about the star's past, including his battle with drug addiction. What has this got to do with a parenting blog, I hear you ask. Allow me to explain. The scourge of drugs that flood our streets destroy families and indiscriminately rob people of promising lives. This is an issue that effects every parent, grandparent and young person everywhere and it's a huge worry to all of us, especially parents. I've talked before about trying not to judge people and this is a great example of that. It's not about who someone was, it's about who they've become. Anyone that fights the evils of substance abuse and doesn't give up is someone with an inner strength I hope I will never have to find. Anyone who fights and wins this battle, in my eyes anyway, is a true hero. Someone to be respected and admired. A lot of people gave up on him, yet, here he is, proving that you can succeed, in spite of traversing some of life's harshest terrain.
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People like Robert Downey Jr, who hit rock bottom and come up not only fighting, but thriving, give hope to everyone affected by substance abuse. Every day that he makes a public appearance, gives an interview, or stars in another film, he actually stands up and says; There is hope. You can get better, you can leave this life behind and be somebody. I don't feel he deserves to have the past, that he fought so hard to leave behind, dragged up again, at the expense of everything he has achieved since. Our press have a lot to answer for, it's about time we celebrated people's successes, not their battles. So Robert Downey Jr, and anyone else who has fought an epic life battle and won; You ARE Iron Man and I salute you!