There are times that I think we've made our world such a cesspool.
Last Friday (December 8) I got home a little early from work, so the family and I decided to do a little shopping and have dinner. We went to Target to do some Xmas shopping, and my daugher and I walked through the Record Department (for all you kids out there, that's where old farts like me buy CDs).
On an endcap there was a display of John Lennon CDs. I stopped my daughter and told her that this man was a great artist, and was sadly killed 26 years ago today. He was shot by a man just outside his apartment building in New York City.
My daughter sort of nodded, and we moved on.
A lot of my cultural reference points involve someone who has died or been killed. I'll tell my kids about the Kennedys, King, Lennon, Elvis, and other people who have influenced my life, and find myself having to explain why and how they died. Can't I have living heroes?
I see Walter Payton on an NFL Films show and have to explain to my son that even though he was a great athlete, he became ill and died. I don't explain how his liver disease and subsequent cancer was probably caused by gulping down handfuls of NSAIDS after games because Payton didn't want to take anything 'stronger'.
My son knows who Muhammed Ali is. He recognizes Ali on TV, and knows why he doesn't talk so much.
I don't know if my kids are getting some type of warped message about fame and accomplishment...that the price for success is illness or death. That when you are famous and want to do good things, other people want to kill you.
I need to ask them about that, I guess.