Two weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be at All Star Weekend in Los Angeles, California. This is a weekend whereby many famous and world renown basketball players come together to play in an all star basketball game. This weekend is also where celebrities often attend. As fans at the basketball game and the weekend festivities, I watched as my children fawned over celebrities and spent their days (and nights) bothering the stars for pictures to post on their various social media pages. They could not stop talking about which celebrities they had taken pictures with and which ones were next on their list. It was then that I started to think about stardom and what it really means.
We met one young man from the show “Stranger Things". He was an adorable fourteen year-old boy who said that just a year ago he was “a nobody”. He actually asked my son if he’d like a picture before my son could ask him. It was interesting to hear him identify himself as a “nobody”. He was surely a somebody! He was and is a sweet boy that had a talent that had only recently been discovered.
My kids saw comedian and late night host, Jimmy Kimmel, and screamed, making eye contact and asking for a photo (when did autographs become passé?). Jimmy saw the kids and gestured that he would come to them. I surely thought that this would not happen. He would have to fight through crowds and his own detail to make it to them, but next I knew he was there. He motioned to my kids to come down and get a picture with him near the stadium floor. This was clearly a kind gesture and seemed to be the highlight of the weekend for the Lieber children. This was the conversation that trumped all others-not the meeting of Justin Bieber or Chance the Rapper, but the kindness of some celebrities over the arrogance of others.
What immediately came to my mind was that these are just people, like you and me. These are people that have reached success in a world that loves actors and NBA players and in a world where social media has changed our way of interacting. But in the end, these are just people, some nice and some not quite so nice, but just people that want to go to watch basketball games, eat in restaurants, go for walks, and shop, just like we do.
While it was surely difficult to come back from the weekend, and the time change left me awake at all hours, it felt good to be home. In retrospect, it felt good that in a world with so much chaos and sadness, there is happiness and laughter, and while my kids were a bit star struck they too realized that as the song goes…people are people. It’s also important to note that we should try to all be kind to others. Whether you have made celebrity status or not, you are a human being with feelings and emotions.
We have so many all stars in this school that are going to go onto amazing things. But most important is that they stay kind and grounded. After all, this is what stands out in any arena.
Dr. Dara Lieber
High School Assistant Principal