They act. They sing. They dance. They give award-winning performances in dramas and comedies. Magazines glamorize them. The public envies them. Off screen, they marry, have children, and get divorced. Some get arrested, “find religion,” or take on a political cause. They adopt, fight poverty, or combat the spread of AIDS.
Actors become directors. Musicians become actors. Singers become authors. Sports superstars sign movie contracts. There are seemingly no limits or bounds to what celebrities can do.
The media hype surrounding these “beautiful people” is like nothing else. Magazines report the latest celebrity news, and the Internet is swarming with it. Celebrity faces are splashed across advertisements and billboards for all to see. Their lives are on constant display.
Most of us think about our jobs or our careers as a means to fulfull responsibilities to families and creditors, to gain more material comforts, and to achieve status and recognition. But we pay a high price for this kind of thinking.
We all want to be doing our best at what we do best. The rewards that follow are inevitable and manifold. There is no way we can fail. Biology points out the logic of this idea. Every species in the natural world has a place and function that is specifically suited to its capabilities. This is true for people too. Some of us are uniquely equipped for physical work, athletics, or dance; some of us have special intellectual gifts. The list is endless.
Any talent that we are born with eventually surfaces as a need. In a similar fashion each of us no matter how ordinary we consider our talents to be wants and needs to use them.
I’m looking for something more than money out of my work. I expect deep fulfillment and a little fun too.
Almost any job has it’s benefits.
“At least I don’t have to take it home with me,” “it’s only five minutes away”, “it pays the bills”. Clearly we can see that people do grow through “staying the course”, through facing difficulty, through self-discipline, through toughening their resolve and perseverance. Yet, even though we are all fairly adaptable, elastic and multidimensional, we are not born to struggle through life. We are meant to work in ways that suit us, drawing on our natural talents and abilities as a way to express ourselves and contribute to others.
This work, when we find it and do it – even if only as a hobby at first is a key to our true happiness and self-expression.
Ever since humans have existed on this planet, there has been people with more knowledge and powerful positions such as Kings, Emperors, Prophets, Scientists, Presidents, etc.
Our society has unfortunately acquired the very bad habit of idolization(verb: to idolize) or adoration (verb: to adore) or worship since the beginning of times. That humans idolize or worship a superior being [a God] is acceptable. Worship the universe, the planet… it makes sense, it’s bigger than a simple human. But why idolize another human being?
When one is a young child, the mother and father are often revered as practically immortal, as if they could do no wrong. As young children turn into preteens, they switch gears and begin idolizing a younger and hotter crowd. This isn’t a recent development in the stages of growing up; in fact, dating back to legends such as Frank Sinatra and Vivien Leigh, stars influenced the choices made by teens all over the world. Whether the younger generation was influenced to wear certain brands of clothing, get their haircut in a certain style, or pick up different hobbies, celebrities always did have a controlling influence on the younger generation.
“Gossip can be bad, but we tend to overlook that it can be good as well,” says social psychologist Robb Willer, a co-author of the study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “A lot of gossip is driven by concern for others and has positive, social effects.”
Take Michael Jackson, the pop star of magnanimous proportions. There was a time when he could do no wrong and his next hit was greater than the current dominator. The one star could over take him and that was a newer version of himself. The 1980s’ belonged to Jacko. Then the behavior began to get a little quirky but still charming. Then the quirks began to become a pattern. His face got finer and finer and his skin whiter and whiter. His behavior step out the broad spectrum of normal and our concern became angst. Then we looked-on in disbelief and horror at times. The dangling baby incident was the last and final straw for many disillusioned fans. Jacko was had been the greatest idol in our eyes and now a byword.
Celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian are being idolized and it is affecting the future of America. We criticize them, and at the same time we rush to hear about their latest disasters. We love to hate them but we seem to idolize them while other critical issues sit on the back burner.
In a study of 142 junior high school girls, researchers found that girls who strongly idolized a male celebrity were rated higher in materialism. Heath Ledger, who had amazing looks and who we all loved, but death via overdose? This is neither the first nor last instance that a talented individual will be proclaimed dead over drugs or alcohol overdose. Some of them are drugged up, some in rehab and some are having major meltdowns, yet we all want to be like them in one way or another. So what is there to idolize?
Like it or not, people like Justin Bieber are actually gifted. And, humans like gifted/extraordinary people, and celebrity entertainers/athletes are ones who are very extraordinary in their fields. But, it doesn’t only apply to entertainers, it applies to absolutely everything and each one of us.
We seem have been subconsciously fed to believe that “celebrities” are better than us over decades. And, even though that may be true; I think there is a great amount of appeal that comes from the idea that with enough hard work and a little bit of luck, we could all achieve similar success in that lifestyle.
Maybe we follow because we don’t believe in our own life? We imitate because we don’t know how to think for ourselves? Without our heroes to hang onto…we are left out on a limb by ourselves…we would be nobodies. We would be alone. And, that IS scary!
But, we foolishly look to other people to lead us, who are no better than us.
We do this because we want to look up to someone. We want someone to trust and show us how to live. We want to follow someone who knows more than we do, someone who has all the answers. Yet many of these people we follow are themselves biased, ignorant, misled, corrupt, weak, arrogant, proud or flawed.
Welcome to the human race. None of us is perfect.
And although there are many extreme examples; the majority of priests, ministers, pastors and leaders are good people who are trying their best. But they are STILL people. They and WE are just people. We really are the blind leading and following the blind.
Eventually every person’s human side comes out. When we trust someone, put our faith in them and follow them, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
In the end we will be disappointed. People will ALWAYS disappoint us. People will ALWAYS fail us. The person we idolize will eventually get old, say something wrong, change their beliefs, jump ship, abandon the cause, do something offensive, surrender, turn against you, commit a sinful act, do something they said they wouldn’t, abandon you, let your relationship go.
Your minister, your church, your denomination, your parish, your fellow believers, your company, your counselor, your therapist, your doctor, your friends, your family, your parents, your spouse, your partner, your lover…everyone will eventually fail you in one way or another and yes…WE also will fail someone else, including the ones we love…because, we are all human.
How quickly we hand over our trust, belief and identity to someone who says everything we want to hear, who looks the way we want to look, with a nice face, a warm smile, a soothing voice and a confident handshake?
The reason people think of themselves as less than others might just be that this is what they have inherited from our history of power and how it has been used all this time. Or maybe a person that allows him/herself to be humiliated and used by another has none or has lost all self respect.
Actors and musicians may get different levels of respect depending on culture but sports figures appear to be universally idolized. Physical strength and speed must be important still in our cultures.
What all human beings need to have is respect for oneself and for others. All humans have a talent and should be proud of it and, regardless if that talent will pay little or too much, it is unique. There is no such thing as one human being better than the other that he or she needs to be idolized but somehow this notion that this is how things should be is lost.
Or maybe people confuse admiration with worshiping?
Some or most people forget that the rich, the famous, the “powerful” are also humans, they make mistakes just like everyone else.
So, who are we to judge people by the way they look, the color of their skin, their financial status, place they live, education, etc.?
Before you start judging others you really should stop and think that just because you have your own perception of things and people doesn’t mean they are true to others or in others.
Before you think you are better than others because of the material assets you have, the social position or monetary funds and/or better looks, ask yourself: will I be healthy, rich forever? Do I have weaknesses? Can I be defeated?
And the most important question ever might be: Will I ever perish?
The answer might just bring you back to reality and make you realize you are just like everyone else!
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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