I am wary of our celebrity culture. Celebrating people who are in the public eye: movie stars, TV stars, musicians, athletes, social medis gurus, millionaires, billionaires and the list goes on and on and on. I am amazed at the awe and admiration that these people get from the public. The pedestal they are on as “successful” people. It doesn’t matter what part of the world I am in, it is the same level of admiration. Is this part of human nature to define success by how much your are in the public eye and wealthy you are? Can someone please explain this to me?
Just because someone has money or is higher up the ladder of success doesn’t mean they should be treated as better than anyone else. Too many people have been socialized into a misleading belief system that takes years to unlearn. What does it say that Brangelina is a Wikipedia entry and that Honey Boo Boo has over 2 million viewers? In Celebrity Culture and the American Dream, Karen Sternheimer writes:
Part of the success of the franchise is that it offers a glimpse into the lives of (mostly) affluent people, allowing us on the inside to see what they consume: the clothes they buy, the furnishings and finishes in their homes, their cars, and their vacations. Non-celebrity participants reinforce the idea that anyone can achieve this level of wealth, that you can be famous—and wealthy—just for being you, the ultimate reinforcement of upward mobility. The REAL HOUSEWIVES enable us to focus on a few hand-picked groups of women to represent the wealthy in America, a group that has been much maligned in recent years and not very well understood, even by sociologists who seldom gain access to study them.
But this is part of human nature over the long haul:
Celebrity in America has always given us an outlet for our imagination, just as the gods and demigods of ancient Greece and Rome once did. Celebrities are our myth bearers; carriers of the divine forces of good, evil, lust, and redemption. “The wish for kings is an old and familiar wish, as well-known in medieval Europe as in ancient Mesopotamia,” writes Lewis Lapham in his book The Wish For Kings. “The ancient Greeks assigned trace elements of the divine to trees and winds and stones. A river god sulks, and the child drowns; a sky god smiles, and the corn ripens. The modern Americans assign similar powers not only to whales and spotted owls but also to individuals blessed with the aura of celebrity.”
This obsession with fame and other people is in our control. We can divorce ourselves from it. How many times have you seen people get promoted or “ahead” of you that make you wonder about how this happened? Do you ever wonder what it takes to get “there”? And since organizations are still stuck in 16th century hierarchies, do you admire the people at the top and wish you were part of that top “team”? Why? What is so special about them?
We can spend our lives wishing or aspiring to be picked or we can pick ourselves and live a full life. No one is “better” than you. Every single person in this world has their own issues. It is much easier to live fully than to constantly compare yourself to others. Take the pressure off. Do you really care how people judge you? Do they know what makes you happy?
Focus on your story and make it count. Tic toc.