Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Duty and honour

I'm finishing up watch the fifth season of "House" before I started resident training. I've just watched the episode where Kal Penn departs. When I heard the actor was leaving his acting profession to join the White House, I thought it was remarkable and applaud him for this noble move.

When I first heard Kal Penn was leaving Hollywood for his post as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, I instantly thought of Pat Tillman. I'm not a big follower of American football but when the story broke that an professional NFL player was going to enlist into the United States Army Rangers, it made me feel some pride for the human race that not all of us are in it for the money. He enrolled into the US Army after 9/11 as he thought he had a duty to perform.

We all should take good examples from Tillman and Penn. They left their profession in the height of their career, with fame and fortune at their doorstep, to take up some civic duty because they felt it was the right thing to do. I know many celebrities from film and sports donate their money and time to charitable causes but they still hold on to their day job of multimillionare stars. They would probably argue the skills are best spent in their chosen field, which is probably right. But it would be nice if these celebrities would do a lot more, rather than keep charging so many dollars to turn up at a charity event and naming charities after themselves.

There are actors and sports players who decide to enroll in another field, such as journalism or politics or charity post, after their career has finished. This is noble as well but this happens after they have milked the previous career dry with nothing left but dust. Couldn't they have done this early? I'm sure they had enough money in the bank which would set themselves for life, so they can go and dedicate themselves to their new role instead of being handed 'ambassador titles' from the UN.

Kal Penn and Pat Tillman should be applauded - it is just a shame there are not more people like that in the world.

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