What makes someone famous, while someone else doing the same thing, perhaps even better, lives in Obscurity.
According to google, fame is the state of being known for something by many people, usually for some great achievement. Infamous would be known for some nefarious achievement. Examples of this would be Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy.
For me, fame is when someone does something that becomes a tangible representation of some concept or ideal that is intangible.
What started all this thinking was the sudden and unfortunate death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others. I found it odd that so many people where so affected by Kobe Bryant’s sudden death. Why not the focus on the many other unfortunate deaths that happen. Unfortunately, it took the death of Alex Trebek for me to gain some understanding. Trebek represented for me the time I spent with my mom and dad watching Jeopardy and the value of knowledge that my parents conveyed by watching Jeopardy. Now I see Kobe representing the archetypal father daughter relationship among many other things. Some people become an archetype of an intangible concept of an ideal that we value, thus becoming famous - a tangible representation of an intangible concepts.
I was wondering how this all worked. My mind was answering me, by coming up with this question…
First, before I reveal the question, I need let you to know this was also around the time Trump was claiming voter fraud which may have contributed to the insurrection , I found it hard to understand why so many people could believe Trump’s what-to-me were obvious lies. After all, 74 million Americans cannot be wrong, can they? Nevertheless this got me to thinking about my own beliefs. How many of them are obviously wrong to others? Could atheists actually be right, that nothing really matters! Am I denying this part of me that is an atheist! Obviously, like any other human being, I have beliefs that pull against each other. I know, I want to believe in something more than our current existence. I have no doubt I have confirmation bias favorable to some form of a spiritual existence. I look at what others believe. I look at QAnon for example, and see what appears to me as some of the weird stuff they believe. Do others think what I believe is weird? I would haphazard a guess and say yes. This got me thinking that nothing really matters and my life and everybody’s life is meaningless.
That might help to explain why this following question kept popping up
What makes something matter?
What the purpose of life? And who decides ?
What the meaning of life? This is the question that started me down the path to my own answer to the questions above. At first my answer was nothing in life has meaning. To be honest, that startled me, I had to think about that for a time, then came the second part which is (it is me) who puts the meaning on thing! There is one caveat to this, and it is that I decide only for myself. And only you decide for you.
I then decided to goggle it which, no surprise to me, I discovered I am not the first to come up with this concept. I do not know about you, but this does happen to me a lot. So when this happens , I just take ownership and say it mine now. It new to me.
But here the quote I found on google that brought it all together.
“Nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning you give it”
You can easily alter this to
Nothing in life has any ( purpose, value, or even matters) unless you say it does.
This made me realize that instead of looking outside of yourself for these things, you need to decide from within what matters to you, decide the purpose of your life, and, yes, decide the meaning of your life and everything in it.
Fame is when others put meaning from within them on another. This meaning is not the individual themselves. Some people do not handle fame well because from within them they feel like a fraud. They do not hold the same high regards for themselves, or they allow this fame to define who they are thus creating a self-imposed boundary which creates limits. Famous people will meet strangers who will think they know them like they are their best buddy even though that is far from the truth. For the most part, a person is famous for a persona or a face they put on for a show, movie, or a song which is not the whole person.
To a degree, everyone has to deal with this because people will always put meaning on things which includes you and me. We call them labels. Examples of label would be minister, boss, employees, teacher, doctors, etc. etc. Label conveys a meaning that we decided to put on something or someone. We do that because otherwise life truly would have no meaning. (Labels convey meaning)
By labeling, we are expressing what something or someone else means to us, along with our expectations that go along with those labels. We even but this expectation on ourselves when we use these labels for an activity we are doing.
In my experience as a human being, expectations are hard to live up to.
When someone says “don’t label me”, it’s not the label that they’re mad at, it is the expectation that comes along with the label - both positive and negative.
There is no meaning in life except the meaning you give it.
So, in this human experience there a lot of things we need to give meaning to. With that in mind, remember you are the granter of meaning. When you are upset by what someone said to you, you gave it that meaning.
An additional thought
In a world where we have a lot of things coming our way, we have an easy way to deal with that if it is similar to something else we have come across. It will mean the same thing, or, if someone we trust told us what something or someone means, we simply say ok, and we do not verify. This works well for the most part because we cannot possibly create a meaning to everything we come across. However, this important shortcut can lead to implicit bias because we use it on people. I believe that this is what the whole social injustice movement of Black Lives Matter is all about. I feel it important to be aware of implicit bias. There no way to completely rid ourselves of it, therefore just having awareness of its existence will bring the more blatant form to light and will help rectified the issue. For most part, when people become aware of a problem, people in general will bring great effort towards rectifying the issue.