Friday, 14 February 2014

The Fame Paradox

The light never dies on a person of greatness. It burns immortal, a warm glow that reminds us of the stature they once occupied, and still do. The same light burns brighter for their progeny. But, not in quite the same mellow timbre

For the young of a colossus, the light is deafening. An inescapable reality, it stares them in the face from the moment their eyes open. Through night and day, it is their unrelenting Sun, a cruel reminder of life’s sole purpose. To live up to the name they’re deemed fortunate to be born with. While the rest waltz through existence in the search for meaning and a higher calling, theirs is predefined. Their benchmarks etched in the sky, finish lines drawn before they learn to say ‘go’. The light teases and taunts them at every turn, as society prods them to follow in hallowed footsteps and occupy the circle it casts

From the dawn of time, the children of famous parents have been expected to outshine them. We can observe, barring the odd exception, that famous men and women seldom come from famous parents or give birth to children who grow to become equally if not more famed.

Most of us have wondered what it would be like to be born to titans. Lives in place, world at our feet, a sizeable serving of success and its many privileges without having to raise a finger. But, we’ve overlooked the heat that is always on. And feeling it up close, the gargantuan obligation to go one better, as we squirm under the shadow of a giant we’re always being compared to, can get suffocating. For us world is no stage, it’s a rancid lot of hecklers watching our every step, waiting for us to fall, and ultimately fail.

About time I made my point?

It’s simple, and becomes evident shortly. By chasing fame and achieving it, are we building or derailing the lives of our children? Are we landing them the luxury of a struggle-free upbringing or substituting it for the greater struggle of rising to, and hopefully besting our stature? Are we securing a precipice for future generations to look down at creation from, or are we preparing them for an untimely roaring leap off the edge? Is our quest noble or is it the veneer of our vanity, our constant need for power and the recognition it begets? Does ‘I’m doing it for myself.’ have more truth in it than we imagine? Do we go for gold or settle for scraps so our children can swap silver spoons for blank slates? Are we who started with blank slates obliged to leave blank slates for those to follow? If we forsake our thirst for glory, will our children do the same for our grandchildren? Should we be grateful to our parents for underachieving (achievement is subjective, but you get the drift) or prepare to face an impending outburst from our children against the pressure we have already begun piling on them? Is it better to be born to a legend or to raise one?

I don’t have the answers. Do you?