North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

October 4, 2012

Danielle Pelkey: Use your influence for good

By Danielle Pelkey
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — When it comes to celebrities and their personal lives, I really couldn’t care less. Most are self-centered and more concerned about money and labels that about real people. Imagine my surprise to hear about a celebrity who actually might have done something out of the goodness of his heart.

The celebrity that I am speaking of is none other than Justin Bieber. Yes, the teen pop star with legendary hair and a little bit of a girly voice went above and beyond in his quest to make a little girl’s day.

Back in February, Bieber was made aware of a 6-year-old girl with a very aggressive and rare disease called ATRT. Avalanna Routh was diagnosed with the disease five years ago and recently made it well-known that she wanted to meet her teen idol, Bieber. He not only spent his Valentine’s Day with this young girl, but after playing board games, eating cupcakes and signing autographs for each other, they decided to have a mock wedding for her. Bieber even let Routh style his hair for the event.

After spending the day with Routh, Bieber tweeted: “That was the one of the best things I have ever done. She was awesome! Feeling really inspired now! #MrsBieber really inspired me.”

Now I know that this may have been just another publicity stunt, but in all of the photos of this afternoon, he truly looked to be having a good time and giving all of his attention to the girl. Whether is was a heartfelt act or an act for publicity isn’t the case. The fact of the matter is that in that one afternoon, he made a huge impact on this little girl and her mom.

Sadly, this past week Avalanna lost her battle against this deadly disease. But thanks to her family and Bieber, many more people are aware of this disease.

So we sit back and look at this and think, “Would I take the time out of my busy schedule to spend the day with a child who wants to be around me?”

Children are so easily influenced that it can become easy to walk away from them, or get busy around them and neglect them. But if a teen pop sensation like Bieber can take the time out of his busy schedule to spend the afternoon with a girl he doesn’t even know, then we need to make sure we are taking time out of our schedules for the children in our lives.

Don’t let a celebrity outdo you when it comes to quality time with your kids, nieces, nephews or grandchildren. Make it a point for them to spend as much quality time with you as they spend with the outside influences on their lives. It’s not only good for you, it will have a lasting effect on their lives too. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with someone as wonderful as you! Spread your positive influence to those who mean the most to you.