“Money leads to fame,
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and fame is the disease.”
-Nickelback, from their song “Kiss it Goodbye”
You can hate on Nickelback all you want to, but this lyrical tidbit latched on my mind until I couldn’t think it through any further. Money and fame have such a positive connotation in our society that most of us grow up with dreams of wealth and eminence. Like the air we breathe, money doesn’t discriminate. Fame attracts all types of talent and profession; we award the Oscar to our best actors, the Heisman trophy to our MVP of college football, the Pulitzer prize to our most creative authors, and countless other trophies of recognition.
Most of the awards bestowed upon individuals are genuine honors, so how could they possibly be a disease traveling a twisted thoroughfare of green bills? Sometimes the recipient of an award doesn’t deserve it or any of the spoils that accompany it. How could Obama (or any politician) possibly deserve to win the Nobel Peace Prize when his every action divides our nation? Still, the plaque graces his office, his friends congratulated him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he enjoyed an expensive dinner after the Nobel Prize ceremony.
Money is quite a dangerous highway to travel, because once we earn one dollar, we want another, and another, until we tire of slowly building our bank accounts and seek out higher-paying jobs or rob a bank. For those of us who opt for the former, the first higher-paying position loses its luster, and we seek yet another raise. This vicious cycle led me to seek out the Bible verse declaring money to be the root of all evil:
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
-1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV)
Indeed, crimes such as bank robbery, cheating on taxes, fraud, and theft are all motivated by greed. Murderers often kill because their victim refused to give them what they wanted, and in the murderer’s warped sense of logic, believed that their victim should pay for not satisfying them. And yes, some people pay to have their photograph circulated through popular publications. Still more post their likeness on the Internet for the sole purpose of receiving attention.
And the million-dollar question is…If money and fame threaten such horrible moral and character consequences, why do we keep lusting after them? I’m convinced that many people tend to hinge their happiness on things that have little staying power. The mansion will eventually crumble and need costly remodeling. Someone could rear-end that fancy sports car when you least expect it. All of that money could be gone with taxes, bills, a lawsuit, or a thief.
And perhaps the least permanent of all of these is fame. As difficult as fame is to achieve, it usually dies with the person who had it. When Britney Spears has her tombstone engraved, the young people she sang meaningless tunes to will be old and (hopefully) have more mature tastes, and the young people of that day will have a new teen idol. If the walls of the Sistine Chapel caved in tomorrow, Michelangelo will likely be forgotten twenty years from now. And King Tutankhamun, who was the pharaoh of his country during his lifetime, was lost in the Valley of the Kings for two thousand years before Theodore Davis and Howard Carter stumbled upon his tomb.
God tells us in His Word that only He and the eternal life He promises to His believers are permanent. Precious few things are long-lasting, and most of those things are not ‘things’ at all; they are the close people and adored pets in our lives. Why dream of riches when the stressful overtime you put in at your job could be better spent at home with your husband or wife? Why place all of your hopes into achieving international fame when your spouse, children, or family’s acceptance of you is the most rewarding anyway? Why strive for something nearly impossible to achieve when your efforts could produce something that makes you proud? Don’t lose your real dream in the illusion of fortune and fame.
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."-Jeremiah 33:3, King James Version
"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."-Psalm 119:105, New Living Translation
The present and future are not about who you were in the past-rather, they are about who you are and who you will become.
"Writing is truly glorious in that an author can put on paper the words that fear denies the voice to speak."-from my short story, "Set Free"
"...What you feel is what you are;
What you are is beautiful..."
-from "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls
Life surprises you! And I'm talking about the good stuff, because a bad surprise is not a surprise at all, it is just shock and horror. All of these good surprises, they are rewards, and the things that happen to remind you that you matter and that you should make yourself faithful so that you can be deserving of all of life's good surprises. Every wonderful surprise in life is a chance to flourish, so grab life by the horns-but don't ride, steer instead: life's horns are life's joystick. You can handle it, because your life's horns are made especially for you. If you don't give up, all of this will hold true and life will continue to surprise you.
Aubri, a. k. a. "Leopard Lady"