I just came across an article about a couple that allowed their two children (one is 22 months, the other 11 months) to nearly starve to death because they were too busy playing video games. Now I love video games and I actually know someone that called in sick to work for two days a while back because a new game came out, but this takes addiction to a new level.
First of all, ask any parent of toddlers how long they can hold something (such as a game controller) without their kids trying to get at it and you’ll find it to be less than a minute – so it’s not like the couple could have been so immersed in their game that they forgot about the kids. But it gets worse, the husband was unemployed and used a $50,000 inheritance to buy a big plasma TV and computer equipment.
I don’t know a whole lot about these people, but they the poster children for people that don’t have a clear direction in their lives. In college, one of my classes had to visit either an alcoholics anonymous meeting or an alcohol rehab center so we could see first hand the dangers of drinking (and therefore, get discouraged from having “a few too many” ourselves). Many of us use positive role models to help us stay motivated and keep on track, but we can also use these negative role models in a similar manner.
Sometimes, we’re more motivated to not be like negative role models than we are to be more like positive role models. When the going gets tough, we sometimes disassociate ourselves from our positive role models and we tell ourselves that we don’t have the luck, breaks, talent or abilities of those we admire. However, with negative role models, we see the commonality between us and them, and that can snap us out of our pity party and help get us back on track.