Deep down many of us seek fame. Constant attention. Mass adoration. Approval on a grand scale.
We get attached to the notion that our worth can be measured in breadth, not depth. Clicks and likes, over connection and intimacy.
We try vainly to be “friends” with everybody, before we make friends with ourselves.
Our heart may be closed, but our life is an open book on Facebook and Instagram.
We can all do selfies ad nauseam. We can all put our fake fabulous life on display for all to see.
But maybe it’s just a little bit better to be famous to your family. Your AA group. That non-profit that’s changing lives one at a time. Or that kid who could really use a hug right about now.
As usual, the poet says it better than I…
FAMOUS by Naomi Shihab Nye
“The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.”
h/t Anne Lamott