The True Anna Nicole Smith Tragedy 
 The amount of press coverage the Anna Nicole Smith case is receiving certainly points to a real challenge our society, especially our children and teens, are facing. That challenge is the pathetically poor example these individuals are providing on a daily basis for the young, impressionable minds in our society!

Why is it that many in the Hollywood/ Entertainment field continually hide behind the first amendment and pour out all kinds of vile, negative messages for our young people? Why has the first amendment with so many in the entertainment industry become a "license" to mind pollute our students, children and teens? The time has certainly come for many more of us to step up, speak up and condemn these industries that are unconcerned about the effect they are having on our kids!! As someone who has been in a variety of schools for the last thirty years, I have personally seen what the lowered standards of our culture have done to numerous teens. It is true that the first amendment allows these industries to put out all kinds of material (just as I get to print this ezine) and this amendment should not be interfered with. The main downward slide I have witnessed starting coming with cable TV in the mid 1980's and additional technology has accelerated the challenge. I believe this is due to many adults (at least they are chronological adults!) allowing young minds to be exposed on a far greater level and also rationalizing that the kids have to learn this at some point. That point should be well down the road when the child has much better powers of discernment.

The Anna Nicole Smith scenario is an example of how this industry and some of its supporters have drummed what I refer to as "external motivation" into the American psyche. What is external motivation and why is it so short-sighted and shallow? It is a process by which people are taught that the answers to life lie in things outside of themselves to bring them up or down in life. This glitz and glamour (young people call it "bling, bling") has led to enormous numbers of people blindly following such negative models as Anna Nicole, Brittney, Paris, etc. Is it any surprise we have the level of annorexia, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, plastic surgery and so on in our nation today?

Understanding and learning how to use internal motivation is using proven principles of how we should live. It will give our lives much more depth and meaning. Just one example would be applying the GOLDEN RULE to our lives and those of our children. This rule is certainly the opposite of the self-centered, me first attitude taught daily by those who continually abuse the first amendment in order to profit on young impressionable minds! Set a good example for our children and students! Help them see and realize the difference between those externally motivated people whose lives should serve as a warning. Point out truly successful role models to them. Let's help our young people navigate, what has become, a landscape of people who are going to have tragic endings in their lives! Our children and teens are too precious to be given over to some examples of "how not to live!"

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