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Are you tired of the celebrity driven circus revolving around Paris Hilton? Does the hotel heiress deserve to be behind bars for her flagrant disregard for the law? As a popular media figure, should she be responsible to set an example for the impressionable teenagers who emulate her?
The Baby Boomers or so called 'Me Generation,' on some level, weren't all that different. They were often seen as egocentric and self absorbed, as having a sense of entitlement. But, along the way, they developed the capacity for self reflection. Now, entering the retirement years, they are serving the greater good and are often referred to as the 'We Generation.' Paris Hilton can learn a lesson or two from the changes in their attitudes and behavior:
1. Taking a step back helps you see the situation from a different angle and develop a new perspective. Listening to your inner voice can provide comfort and reassurance as you recognize how your basic character strengths support you. Focus on what's important, and try to integrate core values and personal ideals into how you view the world.
2. Let go of your concerns about the present moment and look at the big picture. Time passes quickly - use it to your advantage and make different choices about your future. Set new long range goals as well as short term objectives. Commit to a process of change - then move forward, step by step.
3. Look to satisfying others instead of only giving yourself pleasure. Learn that gratitude is a very powerful emotion. Tell others what you appreciate about them. Watch their positive reaction to what you say and see how that makes you feel.
4. Increase your capacity to be resilient. Releasing tension through humor will help you begin to bounce back. It is not easy to maintain your sense of optimism when the circumstances are complicated. But focus your thoughts on what you can accomplish and manage, rather than on what you cannot.
5. When problems seem too hard to handle, giving back provides a welcome diversion. Find your spirit of idealism and make a contribution to those less fortunate. Be generous with your skills and time as you become involved with social activism. Change society for the better and you'll eventually transform yourself.
Back in jail and feeling a little less vulnerable, Paris Hilton seems to be singing a different tune. She now says that she will serve her time, not cause any more trouble and use her power to make a difference. More spiritual already, she sees herself growing from her jail experience.
Only time will tell if she is truly ready to roll up her sleeves and be a role model for the young people who look up to her. Instead of focusing on the latest clubbing venues, perhaps she will use her flair for self promotion in a more positive way. Let's hope so – for her sake and the sake of our children.
© Her Mentor Center, 2007
Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. is a co-founder of http://www.HerMentorCenter.com a website for midlife women and http://www.NourishingRelationships.Blogspot.com a Blog for the Sandwich Generation. She has co-authored a forthcoming book about Baby Boomers' family relationships and publishes a free newsletter, Stepping Stones, through the website. Dr. Goldberg has over 25 years of private practice experience as a marriage and family therapist.
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