Make me famous! someone begged on social media. Is that the ultimate goal? Not happy. Not loved. Not talented. Not honest. Not knowledgeable. Not efficient. Famous. What’s it take? Audacity? Arrogance? Self-assurance? Talent? Lies? How far would you go? Can you just ask? Does having a thousand followers or a hundred thousand followers on social media sites make you famous? Or does it take millions? Does appearing on one of those ratings-seeking, shocking-topping manipulative talk shows make you famous? There are people with household names who you would fumble around for words to explain the source of their celebrity.
Being famous could bring acclaim, money perhaps, a good coupling, the best seat at the table, a skip to the front of the line, thousands of selfies, sycophants. And it can bring some unwanted things. Invasion of privacy, opinions and criticisms of every move. Maybe that’s fuel for fame too. But it can damage a life. Do you know the name Oliver Sipple? I didn’t. His fame was not lasting. A perhaps reflexive heroic act changed his life. Made him famous. Made him useful to further an agenda. Made his personal life a story to sell newspapers. His fame severed ties to his family. And no one apologized for the damage. No one apologized for using him. The court followed the law, not justice.
Do you want to be famous for an instant, a lifetime, an eternity? I don’t think I ever wanted to be famous. If fame comes my way, let it be after my death when words of acclaim or disapprobation fall on my cold deaf ears. Let it not be infamous. Let it not be so dishonorable that my descendants disown me and change their names to forever disassociate from me.