Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Give up on fame, but don't give up.

Fame, what’s the point of aspiring to it?

There really isn’t any point in making an effort to be famous, just for the sake of fame.  The fame many of us will aspire to could actually be defined as a whole bunch of other stuff. Wealth, recognition, notoriety, preferential treatment, you get the point. None of these things are actually fame, but still we hope, dream and aspire toward a life more famous.

So what is fame?

Fame: “The state of being known by many people"

Well that was easy, the dictionary definition says it all, doesn’t it?

Hang on though, it doesn’t really explain why we, as rational humans, would want fame.

I believe that many people use the word fame to describe the collection of items I listed earlier: Wealth, recognition etc.

Once these trappings have been detached from the definition then surely we would have to conclude there is no point in aspiring to fame.

Except this is not what happens. It seems there is a constant stream of apparently thoughtful, intelligent, free-thinking adults who struggle to attain the illusive rank of "famous" on an unwritten scale of betterment.

On its own, fame has very little of measurable benefit to offer.

There is of course a clear explanation that supports the inner desire to be famous. It must stem from the need that most of us feel to be part of the greater group, in a team, defined and classified by wider society in a positive manner.

Everyone has at some point wanted to show their own level of self-improvement to a naysayer. To “teach a lesson” to somebody who deserves it. It's a natural response. This is what fame really is. When all else is stripped away, this behavior is what being famous is really about.

For a person to achieve fame they must often have had to work incredibly hard, to sacrifice or to suffer some hardship or humiliation. This behavior requires quite a high degree of determination, a good level of motivation. A level of motivation that likely comes from previous hardship or misfortune.

So instead of being jealous of the famous perhaps we should respect them, perhaps we should rejoice in the ability of the human spirit to drive us to absorb our misfortune and overcome our challenges.

Perhaps we should pity those who aspire to fame. Maybe we can educate them to aspire to true success, through application of learning, through consideration for others.

Wow, I’m positive today!

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