“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank.
“Trading in memories for fortune and fame; Just a step away from the edge of a fall” – Poison, Fallen Angel
“I am not a role model” – Charles Barkley
We’re very careful about how we describe ourselves, how we allow ourselves to be portrayed, and most importantly…how we view ourselves.
We run a group that’s helped over three hundred people find jobs…but we’re not “an organization dedicated to helping people find jobs”.
We’ve done a few events that have a charitable flavor to them…but we don’t hit you up every fifteen minutes looking for donations to the cause of the day.
We don’t put ourselves out there as saving the world, or being such great, magnanimous people that you should just bask in the glory of our goodness.
Not only because we don’t think of ourselves that way, but also because none of us wants to become The Fallen Angel…
Say what you will about Charles Barkley…but the man is honest.
His “I am not a role model” commercial still sticks out in my head as being so incredibly candid, honest, and forthcoming about the reality of his life and the situations he finds himself in…that, well, ironically enough he kind of turned into something of a role model.
I can’t tell you how many times the conversation has taken place about when it’s going to come out that Tim Tebow has fathered illegitimate children all across the country, has a custom equipped S&M dungeon behind a hidden door in his basement, and likes to wear thigh-highs and be called “Janice”.
Sure, maybe it’s jaded cynicism talking there…but can you blame us?
How many “angels” have fallen over the years? How many scandals have clipped the wings of political aspirations, business empires, and personal lives? Drugs. Other women. Other men. Secret lives. The border patrol agent…who hires illegal immigrants to cut his lawn. The evangelist found in a seedy hotel room with prostitutes and cocaine. The politician running on a platform of “family values” with multiple divorces, affairs and children hidden out of the public eye.
But none of those situations capture our attention and fascinate us the way that they do if those individuals don’t put themselves in the positions that they do. There’s no “scandal” at all…if you are who you portray yourself to be.
And that is why we don’t pretend to be something that we’re not. We’re three guys who like beer and like getting together from time to time with people in the industry so that we can expand our own networks. That a string of good things has come as a result of that is nice…but at the end of the day…still: three guys, beer, chatting.
We don’t go on tv talking about how awesome we are. The charitable organizations that we work with are kept (for the most part) at arm’s length and out of the chain of discussion. None of us are running for public office…if for no other reason than if any one of us did, the other two would have way too much fun with it. We’re not gunning for a seat on the city council. You don’t get a constant stream of updates about such and such charitable event at this or that venue and pin a friggin’ ribbon on us and give us a plaque. We don’t want our names on the wall of anyplace other than the local steak joint for scarfing down that ridiculous porterhouse.
Because we neither want nor need people gunning for us.
And that’s what happens when you put yourself out there like that. You get some jackwad with a cell phone catching video of you staggering off to the bathroom after one too many beers. You get people who think you’re stealing their thunder and limelight tipping off the cops about some recreational pharmaceuticals that you might have in your possession.
And then…it happens.
You become The Fallen Angel.
And now those kids that looked up to you have to wonder why the person that was held up to be the paragon of virtue to them was arrested and can’t come around any more. The charities that you work with have to distance themselves from you and as a result lose the benefit of the funds you used to help raise for them. The groups you used to help now have to find someone else to do what you did for them. Your boss has to deal with clients asking questions, and your co-workers have to pick up your workload. Your friends have to start wondering about your past actions…what they meant, what they were really all about…and if the phone calls and text messages they’ve exchanged with you are going to result in subpoenas and become part of some full blown Kwame-esque debacle.
So…we keep ourselves in check. Or, more importantly, we each keep each other in check.
Sure, some might think it’s the “weak” way out to not put yourself out there…but we prefer to think of it as intelligently knowing ourselves better than anyone else.
Because we are not role models.
And we damned sure don’t want to be The Fallen Angel.
You can find the site where the Fallen Angel image was found here: http://missrosen.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/fallen-angel/ Some really nice images there, too.