What Ben Affleck Is Teaching Us

ben affleck

Ben Affleck. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- As of a few years ago, you’d have to say that it looked like Cambridge’s own Ben Affleck had it all: a bigtime movie career with Academy Awards for screenwriting and directing; married to a talented actress with three beautiful kids; and a fortune estimated in the neighborhood of $100 million.

What could be bad?

Apparently, everything.

The other day, the LA paparazzi snapped pictures of Affleck, looking very blue, being escorted to alcohol rehab by his now-estranged wife. It’s the third rehab stint for Affleck, who recently broke up with his girlfriend of the past year and was photographed buying booze during a day spent with a woman less than half his age.

It might be hard for you to muster much sympathy for a super-wealthy celebrity, but in this case it shouldn’t be.

Alcoholism kills tens of thousands every year and tortures those who live with it. It’s a tough disease to shake, and no one is immune.

Like many alcoholics, Affleck grew up in a family where the disease was present.

And it turns out all that wealth and fame can’t erase the issues that contribute to alcoholism, and can actually make them worse.

In an interview last year, Affleck said: "I’d always had a strong idea about my values and the direction I wanted to be headed in, then I ran into getting famous [in my 20s] and it totally spun me around and I flailed around.”

And now, in his late-40s, it’s happening again.

Moral of the story – money and celebrity can’t buy happiness.

We should look at Ben Affleck with empathy and think – there but for the grace of God go I.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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