Everybody wants to be famous today. Fame once required talent, but today with social media and the cult of celebrity anybody can lay claim to fame. The question is what is driving this consuming desire to become famous? This drive for fame and fortune is consuming many lives and causing people to do outrageous things to get their 15 minutes of fame. But what then? Will this provide you with what is missing in your life? Material things can never replace what’s missing in your life. If we are to discover joy and find what is missing we have to look within ourselves. No amount of fame or money will make you accept yourself. The more you chase after life’s fleeting pleasures, the more you miss those things which give life meaning. There are countless stories of parents who in their effort to gain financial gains have ignored their children and missed out on their most important moments. Lost forever these moments leave scars on all they touch.
According to a recent study people seek fame for three main reasons. For most seeking fame an experience or experiences of being rejected or devalued is at the root. Someone or group caused the person to feel insignificant or irrelevant. Sometimes parents can create these anxieties through neglect or by ignoring the child’s needs, as a result the person requires the admiration of many people. Fame as a solution to a deep-seated injury in a person’s life becomes paramount. Fame will somehow excuse or make right all the past injustices and slights.
- The desire to be seen/valued (e.g., “Being on the cover of a magazine”, “Being recognized in public”)
- The desire for an elite, high status lifestyle (e.g., “Having the ability to travel in first class and stay at exclusive resorts”, “Living in a mansion or penthouse apartment”)
- The desire to use fame to help others or make them proud (e.g., “Being able to financially support family and friends”, “Being a role model to others”)
Yet we forget fame has a downside. One we try to ignore, but one which plagues so many celebrities. We often view the downfall of celebrities in a prism of their own design, their own tragedies. However, fame has a pattern. Some can navigate the rough seas better than others, but no one escapes untouched. Held to a higher standard than the rest of us, their mistakes come under greater scrutiny. Constantly stalked and photographed never having the freedom to enjoy a private moment in public. The people who see fame as the cure for their insecurities will never realize the benefit they seek. Fame is incapable of providing them with what they are missing. Not only does it not provide the missing ingredient, it comes with its own perils. The people least capable of handling criticism are being criticized incessantly whether it be their talent or their personal decisions. Things people would never say to a person’s face now become fair game.
So I wonder who is greater the celebrity or the servant? Let’s examine how Jesus viewed the two.
But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
 Matthew 23:11-12