The Sting Route or the Kardashian Route?

stingI’ve never been a big fan of The Police. Let me clarify right away that I’m talking about the rock band, not law enforcement officers. Sting’s musical stylings have just never impressed me the way they have many music lovers, and quite frankly the man himself has always kind of irritated me too.

I think my distaste for him began around the time he was promoting one of his solo albums years ago, and he gave a series of interviews where he just couldn’t stop bragging about himself. I know it’s not unusual for successful people to have a good sized ego, but Sting clearly seemed to be his own biggest fan.

He boasted of how long he was able to have sex, and how great of physical shape he was in (while a video of him performing Yoga, clad in what appeared to be a infant’s diaper, was shown in the other half of a split-screen). He bragged incessantly of his musical talent and talked about religion in a condescending way, making it clear that he was essentially ‘above’ faith. It was so brazen that it nearly came across as a Saturday Night Live parody.

When it was revealed in one of those interviews that his former band-members in The Police sometimes got into scuffles with him before live performances, and essentially beat him up, part of me could understand why.

Anyway, I’m writing about Sting this week because he recently made a bit of news when he revealed to a UK publication that he doesn’t plan on leaving his vast fortune behind to his children after he passes away.

“I told them there won’t be much money left because we (he and his wife) are spending it! We have a lot of commitments. What comes in we spend, and there isn’t much left,” Sting said. “I certainly don’t want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks.”

It should be noted that a lot of Sting’s money goes to charity.

Sting said that his kids didn’t need his money, because they have a work ethic that makes them want to succeed on their own merit. He added, “People make assumptions, that they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but they have not been given a lot.”

Now, you might think that I’m going to point to such comments as more evidence of Sting being a self-centered individual, but to tell you the truth, I really liked what he had to say.

I like that he hasn’t left his kids with a sense of entitlement, and I like that his kids have a strong work ethic and want to achieve their own successes in life. I’ve long believed that self-reliance plays a huge role not just in the growth of a person, but the growth of society as a whole. A strong work ethic gives one the tools to succeed, and that’s a lesson that should be taught to kids by their parents.

Few understand this lesson better than Sting. He’s a rags to riches story, having left a broken home at an early age, and starting with nothing to pursue a better life for himself. He clearly understands the value that comes with years of hard work, and he’s not at all ashamed of the wealth he’s achieved through that work.

He shouldn’t be ashamed. He should be proud. And that’s what I believe he wants for his children – for them to have pride in themselves.

We could use some more of that in our own country. In recent years, the rhetoric of our nation’s leaders has sadly led the way in moving our culture away from admiring wealthy people for their successes and aspiring to follow in their footsteps. We’ve instead gone in the direction of vilifying the rich. We now mock them as “one percenters” and marginalize them as being “out of touch.” In reality, many of them started out with far less than we did. It was countless hours of commitment and hard work that changed that.

It seems to me that when we adopt the mindset that we have to be born with silver spoons in our mouths in order to be successful, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And that’s not a good thing for society.
From a Dead Sleep by John A. Daly
Don’t get me wrong. I’m certainly not against the principle of people leaving their fortune behind to their children, but when you’re as wealthy as someone like Sting is, the act is nothing short of life-changing. I would argue that by instilling the importance of self-reliance in his children, Sting has given them a far greater gift than what was given to people like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. They’re heirs to fortunes who will likely never have to worry about money, but they’re also widely recognized as hopeless dolts who are respected by few.

Which legacy would you rather have for your kids?

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • brickman

    I really liked the Police. I liked the way they subverted the rock power trio by having the drummer really playing the lead, the bassist adding harmony and the guitarist adding color. I am or rather was a part time musician and will tell you that they were one of the few white rock bands loved and respected by black people.

    Yes, Sting’s personality did grate on me and others. One of my favorite musicians, Richard Thompson even did a song dissing him( Here comes Geordie). I also heard his comments and agree with you 100% about them. This is a rare occurrence, so maybe I’m missing something:).

    There was an economist from the late 1800s who wrote a paper that I remember reading in college ( although I forget his name) that said basically the same thing. He proposed lowering taxes for the living and having an almost confiscatory tax on large estates. I know that you are not going there:) but I thought it might interest you.

  • Walter Peck

    I think the response to the Hobby Lobby decision should tell you something about who is leaning which way.

  • Jeff Webb

    Alex Trebek: “Right after you’ve witnessed the commission of a crime, or been asked to book a very underrated guitarist, a superb drummer, and a semi-passable bassist/singer.”

    (“boop-boop” sound indicating contestants’ time has expired)

    Alex Trebek: (condescendingly) “And that would be ‘when do you call the Police?’”

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      lol.

      • brickman

        Gee, John. Four comments. Really only 2. Not only aren’t people reading your books but you look a little lonely here too.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          Is that supposed to hurt my feelings? lol. I must have really gotten under your skin, exposing you as a fraud and all.

          Don’t worry. You’ll get over it.

          • brickman

            If an exposee falls in the woods and no hear cares to hear it does it make a sound?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            One of these days, I’ll explain to you the difference between page views and page engagement. ;)

            In the meantime, try and get over your hurt feelings. I understand that I made you look silly, but it’s childish to still have hard feelings after so many days have past. You can get through this. I know you can.

            Positive thinking, anonymous Internet fellow! Positive thinking!

          • brickman

            I thought this story was better than your usual story of ad hominem attacks. You used this to actually make a point. The fact that no one cares enough to respond reflects badly on your audience. I hope this doesn’t discourage you and make you go back to your usual style.

            I have no hard feelings about your delusions.LMAO.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>The fact that no one cares enough to respond reflects badly on your audience.

            No it doesn’t. The overwhelming majority of people that come to this website and read our columns never post a comment. A lot of them share the content via social media, but most just don’t have a ton of interest in engaging in an online discussion. I understand this because I’m the same way. Outside of this website, I very rarely feel the desire to leave feedback to the columns I read – even the ones I find extremely interesting.

            When you write about entertainers on a political and news media website, it’s kind of expected that it’s not going to result in a ton of engagement (especially when I wrote about this topic several days after it initially made news; I was on vacation when I started it).

            >>I hope this doesn’t discourage you and make you go back to your usual style.

            I write about whatever’s on my mind, brickman. I’m not swayed either way by the number of comments my pieces receive.

            >>I have no hard feelings

            Of course you do.

          • brickman

            Face it John, the hits that you got left your site when they didn’t see a picture of Kim’s butt.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            That’s unfortunate, because if they would have just scrolled down and read your comments they would have certainly recognized an ass. ;) Booyah!

          • brickman

            Hope your book shows more wit.:)

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Awww. Poor guy. Did I embarrass you again. :(