When a celebrity dies, the world turns their attention to mourning them. Whether it was a movie star from the 20s who simply died of old age, or a young starlet who committed suicide, the media spins into a frenzy when anyone relatively noteworthy passes away.
As you probably know, Robin Williams was found dead last week. Sometimes when I hear a celebrity has died from suicide or a drug overdose, I am saddened but not entirely surprised. When I heard that Robin Williams had killed himself, I was completely shocked. I think a majority of my generation can say Robin Williams’ movies were our childhood. From Hook to Jumanji, I can remember plenty of afternoons spent watching his movies in my living room. Most of the time when I hear that a celebrity has died, I say a quick prayer for their family, watch the tribute to them at one of the numerous award shows that year, and never think anything of it again. However, I truly feel saddened at the death of Robin Williams.
With that being said, many people tend to overreact at the announcement of a celebrity’s death. It is one thing to feel a bit sad if they have brought you joy at some point in your life. Celebrities are people just like us, but the fact that you do not know them personally should probably be a factor in how you treat their death.
When someone famous passes away, there will be tributes dedicated to them for at least a year. The whole world stops what they are doing at that time to mourn. Yet, when a soldier is killed in battle or a policeman is shot in the line of duty, few people seem to notice. Their death may be significant in their hometown, but certainly not to the rest of the world. These people put their lives on the line for us, and what do we do to mourn them when they have died protecting us? Nothing.
Each night that I watch the news, at least three-quarters of the stories are negative. They discuss increasing chaos in war zones, and explain the poor economy, but fail to recognize those who have recently lost their lives serving us. A small segment on the news each night recognizing those individuals could go a long way. When an actor or a singer passes away, the news and social media are flooded with emotional goodbyes to them. Yet, when someone dies serving our country, few people seem to acknowledge it.
There is nothing wrong with mourning the death of a celebrity, especially if you feel their work has made an impact in your life. In my opinion however, it is important to remember they are celebrities – not someone you know personally. Rather than glorifying a celebrity’s drug overdose, think about sending a prayer for the family of a soldier who has passed away.
Those who serve us, whether it be through the military or emergency services, deserve to be appreciated not only if they pass away, but while they are actively working to protect us. If you see a police officer, firefighter, or soldier out and about, I challenge you to tell them a quick thank you. If we became a society who focused more on those who are truly making a more direct impact, rather than those who we see on our TV and movie screens, the world would be a much more positive place to live in.