07/25/07 — Lindsay’s saga: Young actress’s story is tragedy waiting to happen

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Lindsay’s saga: Young actress’s story is tragedy waiting to happen

It did not take long for Lindsay Lohan to be back in the news. This time, less than two weeks after being sprung from a California rehabilitation clinic, she was back in trouble again. This time, she was caught driving drunk with cocaine in her possession.

Now, it would be easy to dismiss her troubles as more of the same from Hollywood starlets. In fact, it seems to be pretty common for many Hollywood types of a variety of ages these days.

But what sets this transgression apart is that she is someone many of this nation’s young women see as a role model — someone to emulate.

So, this young woman’s personal tragedy is more than just a shame because of what she is doing to her own life, but also because of what she is potentially doing to those of other young people.

Lindsay Lohan has not had a storybook life. Even though she is ridiculously wealthy from the early success of her career in movies, music and television, she is a troubled child of a volatile and troubled marriage. She has been in and out of court and watched her family’s business being dragged through the tabloids.

She has not had the best role models herself, so it is not surprising that she is having trouble handling fame and the money, freedom and notoriety that come with it.

And with friends like Paris Hilton — do you really need to say anything more?

What makes her story hard to hear is that she is probably not unlike many young people who struggle not only with their own demons, but with those of their parents as well.

There are many teenagers and children even younger who are handling everything from addiction and abuse to emotional and physical scars. They have to carry on, even though in some cases they are acting as a parent in the household by protecting their younger brothers and sisters.

They are already behind the eight ball, even before they get a chance to develop their own lives.

Lindsay Lohan is — in part — simply a kid with too few values and too much money. However, she is also a symbol of sorts for some of the problems that this nation is facing when it comes to raising children.

The sins of the fathers and mothers are taking their toll on their children — and creating social consequences for them and the rest of us.

There will be a tendency to dismiss Lohan’s troubles as those of a rich kid. But her story is not an isolated one. She is a young woman facing many of the stresses that other young women face daily. She just has the money to really make a disaster out of her life.

Perhaps her story can remind us all that strengthening families should be one of our top priorities.

Published in Editorials on July 25, 2007 11:49 AM