olympic great simone biles, with her withdrawal from olympic competition, just joined the train of celebrities praised for showing the courage to not be courageous. ms. biles, along with the likes of prince harry, are in a unique position. unlike many who suffer mental health issues, they are celebrities positioned to monetize their mental health issues. mental health issues appears to be a growing societal trend to become a top concern.
ms. biles’ mental health claims are legitimate. her commitment to being one of the greatest athletes within her sport, the long hours, stressful competition, and physical demands, most likely contributed to her health issues.
her withdrawl will not impact her pocketbook. ms. biles already had tremendous marketability as a great champion. her marketing agents now have a new way to monetize her fame. she has the mental health angle. mental health marketing by olympic stars is not new. michael phelps, olympic swimming great, has already taken that path. sadly, mental health issues can literally be the sole driving force for one’s career. prince harry’s mental health issues alone appear to be his cash cow.
ms. biles’ mental health marketing will be leaps and bounds beyond mr. phelps. she is charming, attractive and a true personality. medical providers, pharmaceutical companies, book publishers and media companies will do backflips to her on board. with no doubt, she will be welcomed and enriched by appearance and speaking fees. ms. biles’ moment of disappointment will be transformed into success and riches. she is deserving.
quitting, however, is not a career opportunity for the rest of us. quitting can destroy an individual’s education. it can destroy an individual’s career. seeking mental health assistance while in college or during career challenges can be beneficial. such assistance, however, should work towards college completion or career choice. mental health assistance should be the tool of success and not retreat.
one only needs to look at the exodus story to understand. moses, who suffered from a speech impairment, wished to decline god’s request that he act on his behalf to emancipate the children of israel from egypt. exodus 4:10. select tribe members, who were tasked to scout the promised land for entry, misrepresented what they saw. numbers 13:32. most likely, their actions were due to fear. where would the story of exodus have gone if quitting were accepted? there would be no moses and no promised land.
unlike ms. biles, prince harry, and others, the world is filled with individuals for which quitting is not an option. mental health treatment should be guided for them having success in their life. success in one’s life will not occur if one has a quitter mentality. while there are times that individual’s need to walk away from situations, promoting it as a favorable option is dangerous.
in sum, individuals will hit rough patches during their education and careers. treatment should be geared towards success rather than quitting. sadly, society’s marketers and promoters have other plans. there is simply too much money keeping therapy couches full and psychiatric prescriptions being filled.
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