I remember reading a few articles that described how some of the highest profile athletes and entertainers get so fucked up. They talked about getting 'sucked into the bubble' around people like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and other highly successful celebrities.
Didn't anyone ever look Elvis straight in the face and say,
You're fat and you do too many drugs. Cut that shit out or you're going to die.
or grab Michael Jackson by both arms, shake him and say,
Hey! Don't hang out with little kids! It's creepy weird. Find a woman. A man. An adult monkey. Seriously, what the fuck is it with the kids? Quit doing all those drugs, too!
My guess is the answer is, "No."
Here is what I see. The more famous, wealthy or successful you get, the more people are afraid of you. Most people are not fabulously famous, etc. so you end up with a lot of people around you whose major quality to offer to the world is that they are associated with YOU.
No matter how wonderful anyone is, they will do stupid shit from time to time.
The difference if you are rich and famous is that people don't call you on your shit.
Sometimes, people will say to me privately that they disagree with some decision Ronda has made. They might go on at length and in great detail. When I suggest that they tell Ronda that to her face, they make a lot of excuses. One person even suggested that I go with him when he talked to her. I refused, even though I agreed with his opinions. He's a grown man but he's afraid that if he disagrees with her then she won't let him hang around any more and he won't get to be a big shot.
Frankly, the whole thing makes me sick.
What happens when everyone around you is saying, "Oh, you're right. You're so great. You're the champion."
Well, then the one person who says,
"You know, maybe you should have acted a little differently in that situation."
... is the bad guy. After all, everyone else thinks it's fine that I got drunk and shot the TV.
(Chill. It was an example. That was Elvis. Ronda has not assaulted any household appliances under the influence of alcohol.)
Anyone who gets to know Ronda comments on what a genuinely good person she is, and I think a lot of that has to do with having a large family around her.
Last night, because Maria, Dennis, Eric and I were out of town, she was babysitting her nieces until past 11 pm and less than 3 hours later was on the set for Good Morning, America.
I think that is very healthy. You are part of the family and that means you pitch in. When I left for Utah, and Julia was flying home to an empty house, she stayed at Jennifer's house, because we're a family.
No one gave Ronda a pass on picking up the girls from school and preschool because hey, you're their aunt and the only one in town tonight.
Even though she always tells me not to worry, I still do - a lot.
It's impossible to read the news for a week and not see the report of some athlete or entertainer getting in some situation that shows incredibly poor judgement and not ask yourself, "How the hell could they make such a stupid mistake?"
I'll bet you that the answer is that they were living in a bubble, where no one dared to tell them that anything they ever did was wrong, and so they started to believe it. After all, who wouldn't like to believe that every decision they made was right? That bubble of what you see as acceptable - because everyone around you accepts it - just gets bigger and bigger until one day it pops when you rape someone in a hotel room or shoot someone because they annoyed you or overdose on drugs.
That's why I think it's good for her that ever since Ronda made her first world team she has had people around her to pop that bubble. As Jennifer said when Ronda walked in the door after competing in her first Olympics at age 17,
I don't care where you've been or what you've won. It is SO your turn to change the cat litter.
Totally unrelated to this --
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If you buy one here or donate it to a school then I won't be so broke that I have no time to continue writing this blog.
If you don't have ten bucks, that's okay.
You can download a free demo and play it here.
We won't judge you. Have fun.