Dissing Paris

CAROLING WITH CAROL

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Waiting for my truck's oil to be changed I decided to read something different.

(I should have picked up a hunting or a car magazine, but then I might not have had this column.)

There on the pages of People magazine was Paris Hilton.

The surprise wasn't that her picture was on those glossy pages, nor was it what she was wearing or who she was last seen with, it was came out of her mouth.

"I've accomplished so much," the 25-year-old was quoted as saying.

Huh?

Granted, this statement was pulled out of context by the picture caption writer, still it dumfounded me, coming from the granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, hotelier extraordinaire, son of immigrant parents and keeper of the American dream.

But maybe I am jaded.

We certainly are not all born with the same talents and do not run into, choose or make the same opportunities.

Not long after Paris patted her own back, her name was splashed on the news for a dubious accomplishment that crosses all age, gender and financial barriers:

Getting to take a field sobriety test for a policeman.

Conceivably, with all the money Paris has, she could have taken a limo from the club instead of getting in her own vehicle and subsequently be pulled over for driving under the influence.

Before I am told that my Paris-dissing might leave me with a permanently false sense of accomplishment that could also be indicative of low self-esteem, I must say that like life, accomplishment is a matter of perspective.

Glued to a page of my school scrapbook is the first English award I won in eighth grade. Important only to me.

Some accomplishments have been important to many people.

In 1969, men walked on the moon.

Twenty years ago I heard someone quote Conrad Hilton as saying Hilton would build the first hotel on the moon.

Some important accomplishments are yet hoped for:

In my lifetime I think there will be a woman president and a black president of the United States. The debate is only which one will be first. Journalist T.R. Reid mentioned Arizona governor Janet Napolitano as a candidate six or more years down the road.

Others hit closer to daily life:

The recent story of Susan Crimm, the local teen who was shot by her boyfriend and is now paralyzed from breastline down.

"As each day passes, I look for more reasons to keep going and find a new mission in life," Crimm said in an August interview for the Payson Roundup newspaper.

"This is kind of my second chance at life. I can make the best of it or I can let it get the best of me," she said.

I wonder, should the way in which another person meets a horrific adversity limit another's sense of accomplishment for their own meeting of life's little challenges?

No.

I think accomplishments should, and do inspire us to be better human beings, and right now, I am grateful I can get out of bed in the morning and put one foot in front of the other.

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