Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our Obsession With Power, Fame, Recognition and The Media

I cannot tell you the amount of times I have sang for a person or a group of people whether it's at work, on the street, for a friend or a family member and I've heard the question "Why don't you audition for American Idol?"

I cannot tell you the amount of times I've had people who have read what I've written whether it's an article, a blog entry, a poem, an essay or something else and have heard "Why don't you write a book?" or "Why don't you write for the newspaper?"

I cannot tell you the amount of times I've done an acting skit or something and people tell me "Why don't you move to California and make movies?"

I cannot tell you the amount of times people have seen professional pictures of me and ask me "Why don't you become a model?"

All of these questions are very nice and flattering and I love to hear them because they are indicative that people see something in me that has potential to shine on a large scale. That's very nice and very sweet. What people don't usually know is that I've auditioned for American Idol three times already, I've tried to write many books, I've tried to come up with something to submit to newspapers, I used to dream and years ago made a plan to move to California to make movies and I when I was in the greatest shape of my life I had thought about becoming a model.

No offense to anyone but I had already thought of all those things. None of those thoughts, ideas or questions were or are original.

The truth is that these thoughts, ideas, suggestions, questions and beliefs have been injected into our veins by our culture and the media. Well-spoken people should be on TV, good singers should be famous, good-looking tall men or women should be models, good writers should have books or articles, good actors should make movies and on and on the list goes. Beautiful kids should do commercials, good-looking and talented people should be famous, good dancers should be behind Madonna, people who know three languages should be traveling, people with good taste for clothes should be in the fashion world... well, you get the point. It's so cliché by now that at least for me it verges on nauseating.

These ideas come from so many distorted perceptions we get... it's funny because we have been indoctrinated to associate power, fame and recognition with happiness and success. In fact in our culture, there is no other model for success that does not involve large scale recognition. The manager is successful, the owner is successful, the famous actor is successful, the CEO is successful, the president is successful, the entrepreneur is successful, the host is successful. People like secretaries, clerks, janitors, mail-men, barbers, etc are only successful IF they work for someone highly successful or IF they are making a lot of money.

So there you have it, success = recognition.

The more people that click "Like" on this note on Facebook, the more "successful" I am. Success is a matter of numbers.

Can we wake up from this long induced and deeply embedded dream? Can we release this obsession? Can we see how untrue it is? Can we get past this craving for the spotlight that makes us feel bored and miserable everyday? Can we be our own heroes and our own stars? Can we let go of the fantasy?

I sure as hell have! It's enough. : )