“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
– Albert Einstein
There was a time when fame and celebrity were synonymous with talent, hard work, and determination.
If you were famous—or if you were a celebrity—it meant that you had to be really good at something in order to have earned that title. (Celebrities were people who we “celebrated”—that’s where the word originally came from—so you had to have had something that was a cause for celebration.) In order to be famous, you had to be so good at something that your talent influenced hundreds of thousands of people in a positive way.
But with the advent of Reality Television (or as I like to call it: “Bad Actors Performing Poorly Written Scripts” Television), and the internet, the definition of fame and celebrity has been drastically mutated into a stupid, raunchy, lazy version of itself (like Michael Keaton’s third clone in Multiplicity.)
It used to be that people wanted to be famous because being famous meant that you were very talented—or at least that you had accomplished something meaningful and influential to humanity.
But now, in an absurd twist of fate, people just want to be famous for fame’s sake. They’ve forgotten that fame had always been a result of talent and hard work, and that the only reason being famous meant anything in the first place was because it was a sign that you had real talent.
It’s kinda like a child being mesmerized by a hot air balloon in the sky and then going up to his parents afterward to beg them for a box of hot air—forgetting all about the big balloon and the basket that made the whole endeavor worthwhile in the first place.
Just like that boy who foolishly begs for a box of hot air, people are becoming more and more obsessed with wanting to be known simply for being known.
But why does no one see that being known simply for being known has no value to it whatsoever? Why does no one see that The Fame Monster is slowly but surely taking over our lives? Why are we all becoming more and more hypnotized by fame—the box of “hot air” that really doesn’t—in and of itself—make true artists soar?
Stop Chasing The Fame Monster. Be of Value Instead.
In the long run, those who desperately want to become known just for being known will be forgotten. Which is ironic because their desperate bid to be remembered—simply for remembrance sake—ends up being the very thing that makes them fall into oblivion for the rest of eternity.
This is the trick of The Fame Monster. It promises to make you a star, forgetting to mention that even stars implode and disappear, eventually. Success ebbs and flows throughout your life, and whether you will be famous or not is completely out of your control.
But there is something that never changes—something that is in your complete control. (It’s something that “Fame” used to represent, back in the day, before it mutated into The Monster it is now.)
What is it? It’s simple. It’s your value.
You see, we can’t ever choose to be famous, but we can always choose to be of value. And no matter how rich or poor, known or unknown, well connected or not, we can always be of value to someone else.
We can lend a hand. We can listen. We can offer advice. We can offer guidance. We can share our story. We can be a shoulder to cry on. We can point someone in the right direction. We can give someone a smile, a hug, a pat on the back.
We can invest, we can explain, we can teach, we can learn, we can be quiet, we can offer our condolences, we can be respectful, we can work hard, we can offer insight, we can lead, we can follow… we can always offer value.
Value should be the new obsession of our generation. Not The Fame Monster.
Forget fame and celebrity. Who needs it?
Instead of seeking to be famous writers, then, let us seek to be valuable writers. If fame or celebrity comes as a result of these efforts, then that’s wonderful. But we’ll always know that fame is not the end goal.
Because real celebrity means we have done something worthy of being celebrated; and if we haven’t contributed anything of value to society–then please don’t call us a celebrity. We don’t deserve that title.
Let us not seek celebrity, then. Instead let us seek to create something worthy of celebration. Let us not seek fame, but instead, let us try to create something that makes us worthy of being known.
Otherwise, let us not seek celebrity, or fame, at all.
Let us seek to be of value to others. Because when we are valuable, even if we leave this earth without a single soul recognizing our name, we will have the comfort of knowing that, at least, we weren’t a waste.
To follow the Courage 2 Create and find out what happens to Ollin and his novel, you can subscribe by inserting your e-mail into the subscription box in the top right corner of the sidebar! Subscription is completely free! Thank you for subscribing!