I’m glad I’m not famous. I’ve never worried about the possibility, but now and then I eyeball the perks from afar. Something about status, influence, and attention attracts the human psyche. It’s easy to envy the dominant athlete, the stunning actress, the chart-topping artist, the powerful mogul, the soul-moving preacher. “Man, I’d really love to be…”
Today, here’s why I’m glad I’m not:
- I wasn’t mentioned on social media. I just lived my life (novel idea). Didn’t have to defend my reputation, respond to fans, decide which gigs to take, or meet the supersized expectations of the public.
- I wasn’t suspicious of anyone I met. No one tried to schmooze me, sell me, or network me. If I’m ever schmoozed, sold, or networked, it’s at a pretty low level. My friends are my friends are my friends.
- I ran errands without anyone noticing me, stopping me, or hounding me. I just walked in, did my deal, and walked back out.
- No one interrupted my family dinner asking for an autograph and photo. I only sign my name every now and then, and only for normal reasons. Only my family and friends take photos of me, and not because of me but because of us. My dinners are interrupted by laughter, spills, and bathrooms, and always by the same cute little people.
- I wasn’t expected to save someone financially, satisfy any groupies, or meet-and-greet with influencers. My boss expected me to show up and work, my coworkers expected me to be at the meeting and contribute, and my family expected me to come home and engage. That’s it.
- I didn’t worry about my wife or kids being hounded by paparazzi. My wife doesn’t worry about being trailed and my kids don’t worry about their last name.
- No buses or cars slowly passed my house chauffeuring gawking celebrity tourists. Only family, friends, and delivery guys come to my door.
- My decisions weren’t influenced by major sponsors, donors, interest groups, or other constituencies whose conflicting interests I have to balance. I’m not the rope in a tug of war.
- I wasn’t scrutinized, judged, and skewered by talking heads who know nothing about me. The people who might really criticize me know me pretty well and have the freedom to say something.
- I wasn’t praised, worshiped, and yearned for by fickle masses who know nothing about me. The people who might really praise me actually have something substantial to say, and in the right proportions.
Today I got to live a normal, average day. When you think about it, that’s a very happy thing. “Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).
We all wrestle with discontentment one way or another. The grass often looks greener next door or down the street. The rich, the famous, the influential, the positioned — they seem to have it all. But don’t be so quick to trade the simple joys of your normal life for the burdened privileges of celebrity.
Mom of three? Great life. Middle management? Nice balance. Single and free? Wealth of options. Married and settled? Wealth of blessings. Average job? Everyone understands. Medium-sized church? Hotbed for community. Simple house and car? Your cup runs over.
Sure, I don’t actually know what it’s like to be famous. But it’s funny how my ignorance doesn’t keep me from envying. It’s funny how that greener grass is all pros and no cons. Discontentment and jealousy are doubly blinding. The one hides my blessings, the other hides his curses.
Look, I’m sure you have your fair share of problems and challenges just like me. But cheer up — at least you’re not famous.