“When I grow up I want to be a YouTube star”… said no child of my generation.
Heck, we didn’t even have the internet when I was a kid.
Lifestyles of the rich and famous was a TV show, but none of us ever grew up dreaming we would live in houses like that. It was all so distant and far away. Our world was small and THE world was so much bigger back then.
I find it hilarious that kids in my daughters classes dream of being YouTube stars, but it would be a great career in the sense that one wouldn’t need much overhead to get started (AKA a laptop), zero education (like literally they wouldn’t need to be able to read and write), and they could keep their own hours.
It’s also pushed the idea of fame into everyone’s psyche as an attainable thing, and not just “notable in your neighbourhood” but World Famous. This is weird, but the world we live in.
Whatever your industry, you can at less than the touch of a button (“Hey Siri…”) be face to screen away from comparing your boring life and fifteen “likes” to someone who actually matters. I say this sarcastically because some of the people we idolize are just famous idiots (the only thing worse than a not famous idiot).
I recently read a book by Peter Haas called Broken Escalators (insert Hallelujah chorus) that has set in motion a deep dive into a topic that might actually matter (as opposed to 3.1 billion Baby Shark views. 10k from my own kids).
We all want to matter. We all have dreams. We all have timelines for our dreams. But few of us are finding our dreams coming true.
I had an epiphany that we all secretly would love to be famous or known, so we attempt to be noticed and live our lives in a way that attracts attention rather than doing something that is much more suitable to the human and much MUCH more fulfilling that being famous.
The trouble with quick fame is that it can’t make you a better person than who you already are.
It just makes you MORE of who you already are.
And we’re so distracted by the possibility of being noticed that we don’t let this thought sink in and alarm us.
We spend our time secretly being jealous of silly people who got famous by luck or striking the lowest common denominator in society.
We spend equal amounts of time hating the message of the few who shouldactually be admired who talk less of luck and more of antiquated ideas like Honesty and Character over Time. You know, things our grandparents used to think fashionable?
Who wants to hear about the twenty years of pain and suffering it took someone to build something good in the world when we have “Baby Shark”?
Should anyone be naive enough to promote us before we have the proper character, we would quickly hang out with “famous only” because we hated not feeling important and therefore hate unimportant people, which we “used to be”. It’s always a little awkward to hate yourself because you see yourself quite often.
Still climbing a ladder to nowhere. It’s sad because the finish line keeps moving, but that’s the problem when your dream is all wrong.
Peter Haas, the author of the book I was just speaking of actually preached at Venue a few months ago. I’ve struck up a friendship with his Executive Pastor, which should be impossible for someone from a fledgling church plant in Canada because, well, they’re famous in some circles.
They have a big church in Minneapolis, but they themselves are just what I was looking for in mentors. Normal people.
They preach character and have asked me over and over “How can WE serve YOU?” It’s almost upside down compared to the stereotype, but I find in them men I actually want to emulate.
People who aren’t just good on stage, but good in the struggle.
I’ve decided I’m not spending another minute of my life chasing the false dream of fame, I just want to be a simple man who is flawed but still serving others. It will make me better equipped to withstand criticism because it’s hard to take attacks personally when one doesn’t spend one’s time thinking about oneself anyways?
When you see the real deal for the first time there’s something that rings true,
Unless of course Baby Shark is still playing…