TimBookTu Editor's Message

Fame and Fortune At Any Price

There are these twin aspirations that many people pursue all of their lives — Fame and Fortune. Achieving either one of these would be the answer to one's prayers, right? Not so fast. Be careful what you wish for and especially how you go about obtaining it. Most of us strive to do our best whether it is in school, at work, in athletic competitions or in other endeavors. We may be satisfied to become the best at what we do and ultimately accomplish our goal.

There is nothing wrong in pursuing a goal and being the best you can be. Pursuing and achieving a goal is what most of us were taught from the time that we were a child. What I am talking about is the unrelenting and lustful clamor for fame and fortune while sacrificing respect, decency, common sense, friendships and moral values. We are bombarded by media images of having the good life, the bling, the trappings of the jet set and becoming the darlings of the paparazzi. There may be many among us who want to walk the red carpet and get the quick entry into the VIP area of the club, venue or event. All of this signifies to others that we are important and we are special.

But I don't want to sell my soul by doing things that are detrimental to my character, my beliefs and values just to become rich and famous. Even when many people reach celebrity status, they are not satisfied with minor fame and the fortune that surpasses what the average person may earn in a lifetime; they seem to want it all. And more.

Many wannabe celebrities whether they are actors, musicians or athletes spend a lot time and effort to gain the attention of fans, followers and the media yet when they reach a certain level, they then begin to avoid and shun those same fans and paparazzi. Those in other professions — politics, business, religion, etc., pursue the dollars relentlessly and will do anything and everything to get it. Stealing, cheating, dishonesty and other unsavory ways to get the dollars consume more of their efforts than their original profession. Once they reach that pinnacle, some frivolously spend the fortune without trying to help anyone else. They squander away their fame by engaging in bad behavior that ultimately makes them infamous.

My strongest disdain right now is for those on reality shows who use that platform to gain fame and fortune but it only exposes their weaknesses, foolishness and shallow behavior. I've said it before in an earlier article about respect, that if my circle of friends treated me the way that these reality show "friends" treat each other, I'd quickly kick those friends to the curb. I know that some of their encounters are staged and edited to make them seem more dramatic but what messages are we sending to the young women and young men about relationships, self-esteem and respect. In a time when we don't have all the positive role models that we did in earlier generations, is this the legacy that we want to leave for future generations?

Is the pursuit of fame a substitute for receiving attention, affection and appreciation from those close to us? Is the desire to be rich based on greed, ego, power struggle, a need to have it all or some other yearning that we can't quite identify?

I don't want this to sound like an indictment of everyone that has attained fame and fortune especially when it is done in the manner that most should follow. There are many that have achieved it through hard-work, talent, innovation, persistence and using their God-given abilities. They go about it in a way that most of us admire and appreciate. My words are to those that pursue fame and fortune in a manner that usually leaves them without the one thing that they should want and cherish the most — self-respect. The Bible says it best — "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36.

© Copyright 2014.
Memphis Vaughan, Jr.
Editor and Publisher, TimBookTu

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