I'm not struck with stars

I admit it. Sometimes I discriminate and that’s not right.

Sometimes I look at the rich & famous and shrug my shoulders. The incessant news about every little thing they do and every relationship… even who they had sex with… it all seems so shallow. Not their lives, necessarily, but our hunger to be flies on the wall as they struggle like any other human being to find some peace and meaning in their lives.

Angelina Jolie, Christina Aguilera, poor Britney Spears, strange Michael Jackson, etc. etc. Sometimes their lives are like those car crashes you see on the highway. Some people slow down to look, I avert my eyes and say a prayer hoping no one was seriously hurt. And yet I watch the Oscars and the Grammy’s and the Juno’s. American Idol, Canadian Idol. What can I say, I’m a contradiction.

Still I often feel that this unhealthy obsession with stars affects us more than we realize. Our news is plastered with items on who did what today, who is pregnant, who got arrested for speeding, who stubbed their toe. We compare ourselves to them, and usually find ourselves wanting. Or our children aspire to be just like them, and forget to find themselves. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? No, it’s a lack of identity.

I see nothing wrong with deeply respecting any artist in any medium for the work, the training, the accomplishments, the dedication. But I don’t see why their broken marriages, or struggles with addiction, or holiday photos are any of our business – unless they care to share their experiences and the knowledge they have gained. But hiding in the bushes taking pictures of someone’s private life is just what it sounds like. An invasion. Distasteful. Slightly creepy, even.

All this attention on superstars IMHO breeds a dissatisfaction with our own lives and a deep seated wish to win the lottery, or be discovered, or wake up and be someone else. We forget to turn off the TV and radio and iPod and computer and walk in the sunshine listening to the birds. We forget that we too have talent and skill. That we too are beautiful. That it’s our job not to imitate others, but look quietly within and discover our own self, see our own programming, and strive to move beyond it. We need to take the risk to see ourselves clearly as rightfully deserving life, and time, and joy, and music. Otherwise we are breeding unhappiness and discontent. And surely we have more than enough of that in this word.

I think many of us feel powerless to do much about the state of the world today, and so the stars and their doings offer a distraction from our sometimes mundane lives.

But I have this belief that if each one of us worked to discover what lies within us and worked to grow our personal potential… to examine what we think and why we think it, question our programming, re-write our operating system… that we would each send a ripple effect into the world. If we looked around and encouraged our friends, spouse, children, parents, to write, sing, play, create… participate in music and in art… we would each be lifted. Not because we are dictating belief systems to each other, but because we are loving each other, plain and simple, without condition. But the whole thing has to start with each of us looking within, becoming aware of our own potential, and working to water our own creative souls.

So whatever it is that you wish you had time for… whatever it is that you began and then stopped… how about starting? Draft that book you keep talking about. Gather the songs for the album. Go buy some paints & canvas at the art store. Allow yourself to play. In playing, you are childlike… doing with joy… being in the moment… lifting your spirit.

Me? I’m going to work on appreciating the journey of stars like Angelina Jolie, for how far she’s come, and for what she gives back to the world. But I don’t want to be a voyeur peeping over the window sill of her life. Yuck. I’ll try to learn from the wisdom she & others like her willingly share…. But other than that, I need to focus on my own growth, my own journey.

okayyyy… but can I still watch AI?


Denis Saikis said...

Well Vikki...

There are good people among the stars too.
Per example, Ray Lamontagne, Eddie Vedder, Aimee Mann... you know... these people inspire us to be better songwriters, and better people. And actually, I kinda like aiming to be as good as they are in their songwriting activities.

But I totally agree with you about the self discovery thing.

Keep up the good stuff!!!

Vikki said...

I did say "I’ll try to learn from the wisdom she & others like her willingly share…" - willingly being the operative word. I don't want to know what she's thrown out in her trash can or the contents of private conversations. That's my point :)