SEPTEMBER 28

EVERYBODY HAS A RIGHT TO BE DEPRESSED

by    |  TERRELL OWENS

Terrell Owens, the flamboyant, highly paid Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, may or may not have tried to commit suicide after experiencing depression this week.

Clay Aiken, the flamboyant, highly paid "American Idol" runner-up, admitted he's on medication as a result of depression this week.

In both cases, members of the media have felt compelled to self-righteously state that these people "have no right" to be depressed. After all, they're rich and famous.

How stupid. How judgmental. And ultimately, how narrow these commentators must be to project their own desires and values on another person's life.

Listen to what Dale Hansen, the sports director for WFAA-TV in Dallas, had to say about Owens.

When I watched this commentary, the hair on the back of my neck stood up -- but I wasn't sure exactly why.

Then I remembered that girl in high school; the pretty, smart, popular girl with whom I was friends -- but wanted to be more.

One morning, she came to class and sat down in front of me. She looked sad; she seemed to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. This girl represented all that I wanted at that time. So, for some reason, resentment built up in me when I saw her like this.

I said to her: "What do you have the right to be depressed about? Your life is perfect."

She just looked at me and turned around, even sadder now.

Years later, I found out that her mother had been physically abusive to her. And that's why I remember that little exchange so well to this day.

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Thanks for visiting the Idea Grove blog, where you’ll get regular insights on all things PR and digital marketing. Our agency got its start when founder Scott Baradell created this blog in 2005. Today, you can find many of Scott’s early posts at Media Orchard.

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