Home > Michael Ashton > What is it About Fame?

What is it About Fame?

What is it about fame? We all have these abstract ideas of what we think it is, but what exactly is it? Lord Byron, an English romantic poet and satirist, is quoted as saying that fame is “the advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing about, and for whom you care as little.” Is he right?

On some level, everyone wants to be known. We have all had the desire to receive glory, a “job well done” from their peers and the satisfying envious gaze from our “haters” as we meet prosperity. Most people will probably admit to swimming in fantasies about “living the good life” as a public figure, being on television, receiving awards and rubbing elbows with other influential people, all of this being a world away from the average humdrum of day-to-day life. As we grow older, we begin the process of narrowing down our range of boundless dreams to the goals that we feel are tangible and realistic to live out. Even still, we don’t underestimate what we can become or undermine – we just aspire to be the best versions of ourselves every day.

But what is the downside of fame? What makes it undesirable? What makes fame the antithesis of every fantasy that we’ve had? I think most public figures have or will express some level of discontentment with trading their privacy for celebrity life. We’ve seen it all played out with countless stars: depression, substance abuse, unending rumors and the inability to enjoy a private life. This includes increased scrutiny with having their lives played out for public discussion, be it good or bad. We tend to forget that their lives are just as imperfect as ours, although they have the added pressure of being a role model and motivator to their many viewers.

But we all know these things, right? Each human being is remarkable with their individual ability that will certainly leave a mark on the world. Dancing with the allure of being known to the world can romanticize the dizzying highs and leave out the deep lows. So, really…what is it about fame?

  1. February 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Very interesting thoughts. I was pondering the same thing the other day and even wrote a Blog about it (albeit unpublished). I think its something within our hearts that makes us want to be the best, the greatest, and just to be known. Its almost a natural desire. Brest post….much food for thought.

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