A person’s strivings to be famous are related to the realization of the magnitude of their insignificance and, thus, are an attempt to counteract that realization.
This is something I came up with the other day, and I wanted to talk for a moment about fame.
I think we all want fame to some degree. Perhaps there are a few stoic souls out there who want nothing to do with the limelight, but for now I am not speaking to those hypothetical anomalies.
We want to be remembered after we are dead.
Let’s take the common, everyday man. Let’s say that after this common man dies, he remains in the collective consciousness for about 50 years.
The people he touched while he was alive keep his memory intact by sharing his actions and wisdom with others. But once that time period elapses, his relevance fades and he is basically forgotten.
Comparatively, it can be assumed that the life of a famous person remains in the collective consciousness for longer, let’s say for arguments sake, 200 years.
That is why many want fame; we want to be remembered longer and are fearful of being forgotten entirely.
But in the scope of things, fame only prolongs the inevitable; given a long enough timeline, each of our memories will evaporate completely.
To quote the Book of James, “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
Our lives are a mist (another translation says we are like a vapor) when compared to the gravity of existence.
So my hope is we all can find more fulfilling pursuits than the pursuit of fame. With that said, I am not yet above this pursuit I dispel.
I often find myself fantasizing about being interviewed on late-night talk shows for my “intellectual” thoughts on a given subject. But I also realize that this can be a consumptive delusion.
I challenge you with this question: if you find yourself engulfed in the striving to be famous, where are you finding contentment in your life? I hope that all people will search for peace and fulfillment earnestly and not stop until they find it.
Instead of wishing to one day become famous, look for something greater.
I believe we already look for something greater every day, but in the wrong places.
If one looks at the glorification of athletes, musicians, politicians and so forth, I think it is evident that, in human beings, is a desire to believe in something greater; however, it has taken the form of worshiping these so called “heroes.”
In conclusion, I leave you with this thought, as a man who experiences only glimpses of true contentment.
The freedom from the desire to be famous, the freedom from the desire to be “good enough” by worldly standards, the freedom from the want to be strong enough and smart enough, is exhilarating.