- contents - obstacles
It may seem odd to list fame under
obstacles, especially since so many people search it
out their entire lives long. Fame seems to be
one of the most desired states available to us, and
it's often paired with another "desirable"
term--fortune. So then how could we possibly
talk about fame as an obstacle to a happy life?
Quite simply, due to the tremendous amount of
pressure that fame brings to us. If we become
famous for something that we've done or produced,
there's a huge amount of pressure from the media,
from the fans, and from the people who are paying us
to repeat that success. There's also the
pressure that comes from losing our private lives,
and losing the ability just to be ourselves without
people expecting something from us. I love
going to a restaurant and sitting down and enjoying
my meal without anyone asking something of me--most
famous people have lost that ability forever.
But there's another aspect of fame that makes it
an obstacle to a happy life. Fame is something
that feeds our egos, that part of ourselves that
keeps us thinking that we need things like fame in
order to be complete human beings.
tells us that without fame, we're somehow inferior
to those who have fame, and that with fame, we would
have all that we need to be full, vibrant, alive
people. But that's simply a lie--we have all
that every day of our lives, no matter whether we're
famous or completely unknown.
All fame depends upon is
the adulation of adoring crowds--if people see you as
worthwhile or important or great, then you have fame. In
other words, fame is one of those things that depend upon the
perspectives of other people in order to be a part of our
lives, and that presents another dangerous side of fame.
When we become dependent upon our fame, we suddenly become
dependent upon our ability to maintain the adulation of
others, and the temptation becomes very strong to make
decisions based upon how others will see our actions rather
than what we know to be right or best.
How many actors do you think have taken roles that they
haven't felt good about just to keep their names in the
limelight? How many singers have recorded awful albums
because someone has convinced them that this is what the
public wants? How many writers have written what they
think their public wants instead of what's in their hearts?
In other words, fame is something that can make us compromise
our principles or integrity when we want to maintain it or
gain it, and that's something that never can be good.
Those are two things that never should be compromised, yet
that are compromised regularly in the pursuit of or the
maintenance of fame.
Fame is much like money--it doesn't seem to be the fame itself
that harms us, but the desire to have it that makes us act as
we wouldn't act if we were acting from our hearts. The
desire to be famous can cause us to harm other people in our
attempts to be famous, to be people that we know in our hearts
are simply not the authentic people we were meant to be.
And that can never be something that leads us to living our
Know the difference between
success and fame.
Success is Mother Teresa. Fame is Madonna.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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For as yet I did not understand fame, that
of one in the process of becoming, into
the mob breaks, displacing his stones.
Rainer Maria Rilke
You know, there's a moment when you're famous
unbearable to go out because you're too famous.
there's a moment when you're famous just right.
fame of heroes owes little to the extent of their conquests
and all to the success of the tributes paid to them.
Prisoner of Love
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Thinkers - the people behind the words
people itching for immortal fame do not see that everyone
who remembers them will themselves soon die, and the next
generation in its turn, until these memories, transmitted by
who foolishly admire and then die, will perish.
But even if these people were immortal and your memory
forever, what does it matter to you? What
the buried, or even the living, except for
use? You reject Nature's gift today if you
to what people may say of you tomorrow.
talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can
do well; and doing well whatever you do, without a thought of fame.
present fame think little, and of future less. The praises that we
receive after we are buried, like the posies that are strewn over
our graves, may be gratifying to the living, but they are nothing
to the dead; the dead are gone, either to a place where they
hear them not, or where, if they do, they will despise them.
Charles Caleb Colton
matter how much fame you have, itís not something that belongs
to you. If Iím famous, that doesnít belong to me--that belongs to
you. If you canít remember who I am, Iím no longer famous.
Michael J. Fox
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|Not long ago a friend brought an
aspiring young singer back to my dressing room after
a show. She was close to signing her first
record deal and asked if there were any words of
wisdom I could share with her at the beginning of
her career anything about fame I thought she should
I told her what my mother told me when I was a
teenager singing in the Beulah Baptist Church
choir. After the service, everybody in church
would make a big fuss over me. Especially the
sisters. "Patsy" they would say,
"you've got the voice of an angel. Your
solos are so pretty they could make a sinner see
My mother never said anything in front of the
sisters. But once we got home, Chubby made
sure I understood something far too many people
don't: Glory is never diminished by being
"You're not singing by yourself child,"
Chubby would say. "Next time you're
standing there soaking up all that praise, I want to
hear you give the choir some respect. If I've
told you once, I've told you a thousand times.
A whole bunch of candles can be lit from one without
diminishing it. Now I know it's nice to have
people treat you like a queen. But, unless you
know how to wear it, a crown only has to fall a few
inches to be a noose. Don't you ever forget
I never have.
is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen,
and drowns things weighty and solid.
always brings loneliness. Success is as ice cold
and lonely as the North Pole.
is a bright flower, but weeds abound mostly around it.
and secrecy are the high and low ends of the same fascination.
is Fortune, what is Fame?
Futile gold and
Riches buried in a cave,
Glory written on a grave.
Henry Van Dyke
desire for fame tempts even noble minds.
The City of God
|Fame is a pearl many dive for
and only a few bring up. Even when
they do, it is not perfect, and they sigh for more,
and lose better things in struggling for them.
Louisa May Alcott