Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, January 23, 2012

Death of a Coach

In case you haven't heard, Joe Paterno [longtime football coach at Penn State] passed away over the weekend.

Cue the tributes and testimonials.

As a resident of Pennsylvania, I'm sure I will have my fill of personal stories about how he touched the lives of many people over the next few days.  I imagine it will be a short period of time before I'm sick of the hubbub and will be hoping that it will die down.

I don't mean to sound callous or insensitive but I have to wonder:  Why do we insist on overdoing things every time someone famous or influential passes away?  We see this all the time and I really think that we've started to take it all a bit too far.

Yes, by all means, tell us that they have passed on.  Tell us a little about their life and what he or she will be remembered for.  Say something nice about them but make sure you point out how human they were.  Then let it go.

Why do we need to do more than that? Do we even consider the feelings of the loved ones who are left behind?  Surely they don't need to be reminded every day for weeks that someone they cared for has passed away. They're aware of this.  They don't need to hear the tributes or testimonials as they know what their family member or close friend was like and certainly knew him or her better than the general public did.

So... if the tributes aren't for the loved ones of a deceased person and obviously aren't for the deceased person  himself, then who are they really for? I guess that means that they are for us - the general public.  Is this necessary? Do we all have some sort of morbid curiosity about all the details of a person's life once they are gone? Is it because the different media outlets trying to outdo each other for the sake of ratings?  Is it merely something that has become a tradition and has gone into overdrive?

What do you think?

Image courtesy of Игоревич

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