Washington Post Question: Is the culture of celebrity and reality TV eroding our understanding of what constitutes success? What should we tell our children about people such as Tareq and Michaele Salahi who apparently crashed a White House state dinner in pursuit of reality TV fame?

Why not ask our children what they think about the incident first? After hearing their thoughts, I would advocate for encouraging learning and laughter. I wouldn`t want to be known as “those people who crashed a White House state dinner,” but some people will go to any length to get attention.

Did they really cause any harm? Maybe to some egos! Someone, who is very human, made a mistake with the guest list and let two non-guests into the party. They did nothing to harm anyone and really only succeeded at making fools of themselves.

Does this type of behavior erode our understanding of what constitutes success? No! Has television, in general, eroded our understanding of success? Yes. We see the beginning and end of a success story but no middle — or the obstacles they had to overcome to create their success. Reality TV or otherwise, I`m a strong advocate for getting out there and experiencing success and failure personally.

When we focus on our dreams, supporting our community and helping others reach their dreams, things such as “Who crashed the White House state dinner” become a great source of laughter rather than an inhibitor of our own ability to succeed. What are your dreams?

To see on Wash Post.com: https://views.washingtonpost.com/on-success/panelists/misti_burmeister/2009/12/learn_and_laugh.html