This week saw the passing of another great legend. Maybe he wasn’t universally known, but here in Detroit, he was a legend of great magnitude: Chuck Daly. Mitch Albom’s tribute to Chuck Daly in the Sunday Detroit Free Press made everyone who witnessed Chuck Daly’s unique style and legacy of leadership stop and pause, and remember the man, the legend and the legacy.
On a more global perspective, we saw the passing of two great entertainers over the last week – Bea Arthur and Dom DeLuise. Who can forget the formidable Bea Arthur in “Maude”, standing up for her rights, and the rights of those she loved, or as Dorothy on “The Golden Girls” still a sassy senior citizen who didn’t let age slow her down. Dom’s zest for life made those around him happy. His love of family was evident and that love extended to his friends.
But appearances aren’t always everything. In reading about Chuck Daly and his fight with cancer, he knew it was a battle he had to fight, but also knew it was a battle he was sure to lose. But he kept his wit and his sense of humor, and his love for those around him, like a cloak.
Bea’s friends remember her as shy and timid, and not at all like the two characters we most remember her for. That’s such a strong public personality, and shows what strong character she had to be able to personify something so completely different from her true self.
Dom’s weight was a source of pain and ridicule throughout his life. He fought it, and his sons fought it, too. Most of his sons followed his footsteps into acting, and have enjoyed some success. But Dom’s public persona was that of jubilation and happiness.
This just goes to show that when faced with crises, your public persona can vary from your personal persona. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But be strong enough to know when you need to lean on others for support, a shoulder, or anything else you might need. Help is just a phone call, or an email, away. And most of the time, those around you are more than willing to listen, to help, in whatever way they can. All you have to do is ask.