Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cyrus -- Hope For A Family Destroyed By Success

Picture courtesy of Zimbio
Parenting is such an awesome responsibility. There isn't much that won't overjoy a parent about a child's success. Think back to your reaction when your child first used the potty -- not an Oscar winning moment, but a triumph all the same. Parents work toward developing their children in such a way that all of those moments in life, all of the achievements, are welcomed with joy and enthusiasm.

This joy and enthusiasm is what led Billy Ray Cyrus to want his daughter to be successful. He got just as wrapped up in the moment as his daughter Miley did when fame offered an opportunity they just couldn't refuse. But, perhaps they should have, because in a candid interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cyrus lays it all out on the table -- his hopes, his regrets and his family laid in ruins because he wasn't the dad he should have been.

Cyrus rose to stardom on the fast track himself, when everyone called him a hick, he became the country line dance king, with Achy Breaky Heart; he did some TV -- a show called Doc, which was pretty pathetic, and brought his daughter into the mix showcasing her in a couple of episodes; he and his daughter eventually hit the big time with Disney and Hannah Montana. Hey it was fun, right? He mournfully offers:
I was going to work every single day knowing that my family had fallen apart, but yet I had to sit in front of that camera,” he tells the magazine. “The damn show destroyed my family. And I sit there and go, ‘Yeah, you know what? Some gave all.’ It is my motto, and guess what? I have to eat that one. I some-gave-all’d it all right. I some-gave-all’d it while everybody else was going to the bank. It’s all sad.
Hindsight is a remarkable thing, but it's only recognized after a mistake. Cyrus lost his footing and was swept away in the fearsome current of fame, and drowning under its furious pull, he sacrificed his family life and one of his children, who sadly may be beyond his immediate influence at the moment.

I have some words of hope for him and for anyone who is dealing with a wayward child: The Lord offers some amazing parenting advice in the book of Sirach -- read it. And never forget that the prodigal son recognized that the world provided only superficial and passing pleasures with no real security. He returned home with remorse for his transgressions to a loving father willing to receive him and celebrate his enlightenment. Pray for your daughter, Mr. Cyrus, ask the Lord to forgive you for ever thinking that you or she could be immune to the influence of fame, and never stop trying to be her father. God reminds us constantly that it's never too late and that if we ask with the right intention of heart -- with humility -- and it is what is best for us, it will be given to us. (Cf. Mt 7:7)

The Cyrus family story just illustrates why parents need to live a life pleasing to God -- our children follow our lead, but don't have the wisdom or the maturity to handle the inevitable pitfalls. And sometimes we don't do such a great job of handling them ourselves. We have to be the voice of reason and the example of holiness to the generation that follows us or they will be lost, making serious mistakes, and suddenly in charge of the rest of us without the formation necessary for the task. This can't be allowed to continue -- society needs to hear the words of regret from Billy Ray Cyrus and snap out of complacent parenting.

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