Once again traveling through a part of the world where the word “famous” is overused. My colleagues and acquaintances are constantly giving me impromptu history lessons about people who lived in this area – this person was the “most famous” in this profession – and that person was the “most famous” in that profession – and so on, and so on. So many “most famous” people in one small spot of the world – how do they do it? The only thing that all these “most famous” people have in common is that I’ve never heard of most of them. Plus – their touted achievements are mere blips on the lifeline of humanity. Do you remember the kid in your school that got straight A’s? Everyone knew that kid – they were part of your world for several years – but does anyone know where that kid is today? Same difference with this “famous” nonsense.
I’ve met several people who desperately want to become famous. I don’t really know why – is it power? – is it wealth? – is it recognition? Maybe they never got the attention they craved as children – maybe they always felt lost in a crowd – who knows? All I do know is that the act of pursuing fame takes energy – energy that might better be used to hone their craft or improve their lives and those around them. It also makes me wonder – about the infamous. Did they crave fame so much that they were willing to take that step over the line of decency to achieve it? The best fame is achieved through honest recognition of deeds and actions well done. Even then – most of the time – that fame is fleeting. All you are left with is the knowledge that you did the best that you could – which if fine – because you never did what you did for the fame in the first place.