Rich. Famous. Successful. And good looking ofcourse! Is the dream of 95 percent of world population! The rest are probably too old or too stoned lying on a beach or playing video games!
Jokes apart, it is a dream most people have don’t they? Little realising that destination is full of pitfalls. Quicksand.
Being famous without courage and wisdom is dangerous. Being rich without courage, wisdom and compassion is dangerous. Being successful without courage, wisdom, compassion and a spirit of giving back is dangerous. We have known enough cases of rich and famous people who are ‘whole’ on the outside, are so ‘hollow’ on the inside. They implode.
Somehow the rich and famous soon become the “Entitled tribe”, and they exude a delusional degree of self confidence. This confidence is so alluring, so seductive, it pulls the wool over the public at large. And the media too easily buys into it. In fact, this delusional confidence can become contagious and grow in stature! But often the problem with this “inflated” sense of self, it makes one “need” to feel good about themselves all the time, even at the expense of people around them. It must take enormous amounts of energy and work to convince oneself every action is the right one. Try telling a successful man, his next decision is a wrong one... they perceive you as a threat! As someone who is jealous of them. “Can’t handle" smart/ rich/ famous people! The sense of superiority just grows!
Lady Gaga made an interesting remark, the one sure thing about fame and success is a sense of isolation (in my words, what I remembered about her remark). Look at Micheal Jackson, Elvis Presley... they have the immortality quotient, but walked a very bumpy road to get there! OJ Simpson lost his friends, his legal rights, his family... unable to control his violence and temper!
Life is full of ups and downs. Success and failures. The true measure of self worth is not how a person handles the positive experiences, but rather how they handle the negative experiences. The failing relationship, the guilt, losing money, bad investments, the imbalance between reality and work, bad health, anger issues ... so many trying circumstances that crop up. That hit us all, painfully. Those who cannot acknowledge their failings honestly, will never get back up again stronger.
Or there are those who will keep up appearances at all costs, insist all is well, “oh! Everythings fine! A tad hot in here but no problem that cant get solved”, even as their house is burning down. Truly some people are so good at “holding it in”, they are more prone to getting ulcers or cancer than admit failure.
I think that’s why the rich and famous crave validation. Want to be needed. Made feel worthy. This feeling for validation can quickly become a craving, and feed into a false sense of self. Where they are maybe cutting disc after famous disc, but their life is a wreck on the inside. Living on hotel couches, drinking way more than needed with strangers—their self absorption torpedoed everything. The deeper the pain and loneliness, the more helpless they feel in the face of problems. Oscillating between highs and lows.
Thing about problems is, it’s a universal phenomena. If you have a problem, chances are millions of others have had it in the past, are having it now, or will have it in the future. Courageous people, the wise ones don’t minimise the problem or the hurt, they just got through it. Neither playing victim! It's just that the common Joe doesn't think he s special! The first and most important step to going over that bumpy road is: acknowledging problems and reaching out for help. Strange isnt it, in an age when we are more connected than ever thanks to social media , we are most isolated! The more freedom we “seem” to have, the more we want to be free of having to deal with people who disagree with us or upset us. Technology boasts of offering us a “problem free”, yet we are more lonely than ever.
How is it possible to be e extraordinary in all areas of life? Brilliant businessmen can have messed up relationships. Extraordinary athletes can be shallow and dumb. Celebrities are often as clueless as the people who gawk at them! Reality TV makes us watch every move of celebrities .. I mean even how they brush their teeth! Really!. Internet, Google, Facebook, you tube, there must be six hundred plus channels yet we are becoming attention deficit! I feel we may hear of the best of the best, but we also hear of the worst of the worst... social networking sites are full of “debris”, and somewhere in the middle we live! The vast majority of unextraordinary people! Who have no idea it is their thumbs up that goes towards building popularity curves!
If only we could acknowledge the common everyday Joe, is the real hero!
Bubbles sabharwal ( theatre director& author)