Fame is fleeting
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:01 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt
School is now in session. But this week’s column isn’t about the benefits of studying English or science or math. Truthfully, I would never write a column about the benefits of studying math. I still remember Mama helping me with algebra problems in high school. She’d say with such enthusiasm, “Oh Lisa, these kinds of problems are so much fun!” I hate to break it to you, Mama. Those problems were never fun. Algebra and I never became good friends and so it is to this day.
This column isn’t even about the importance of diligence or obeying the teacher, though both of those things are extremely important this time of year. This column is about a very important subject to most students. It’s about popularity. Fame. How does one get it? How does one keep it?
On our family trip to California this summer, we spent one day in Hollywood. One day was plenty because Hollywood is so ... well, Hollywood-ish. We saw a movie in the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater. We walked on the Hollywood Walk of Fame where the rich and famous have trod. Our boys placed their hands in the handprints of their favorite movie stars and had their pictures taken. A good time was had by all. But our day in Hollywood didn’t make me long for fame and fortune. No. Quite the opposite.
Large crowds of people surrounded the sidewalk stars of the most recent Hollywood actors. You had to wait a while to get a close look at Johnny Depp’s star or Brad Pitt’s handprints. People were crowding around the handprints of the Harry Potter actors or the star bearing Drew Barrymore’s name. But it didn’t take long to realize that fame, with all of its promise is fleeting. Profoundly temporary. Here for a while, maybe even years, but not for forever. You can imagine my shock at hearing young people say things like, “Was Kenny Rogers a singer?” “Was Clark Gable an actor or a music person?” “I’ve never heard of Mac Davis.” It was a poignant moment in time. Just a few years ago people had crowded around those stars. They wanted to get their pictures made placing their hands into the handprints of those they deemed famous, popular, larger than life. But today? Today children like mine walk right by, having never heard of them.
So it is with Hollywood fame. And International business fame. And pro sports fame. And small town fame. And yes, even high school fame. Those who think they stand on the cusp of popularity and greatness need to be wary, for history has taught us that they’ll not stand there for long. Today’s star will hardly be remembered tomorrow. Forgotten.
In Hollywood, I felt sad about the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame who are now being ignored. Names we no longer recognize. But there was a profound truth being illustrated as we walked down Hollywood Boulevard. A truth which has changed my life. If people love me today, I can’t be defined by that love. If they ignore me tomorrow, I can’t be defined by that either. Most likely my name will never be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But I can live with that. I am a child of the King and He never forgets His own.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website, lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 8.10.11
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View