Wisdom

Fame is probably not good for your health

By June 7, 2016 No Comments

Mainstream media doesn’t help us understand what it’s like to be famous.

Some famous people are thoughtful, but which ones? It’s hard to figure out just by watching TV.

But podcast interviews like the one Tim Ferriss had with actor Edward Norton are helpful, and fascinating. In the interview Norton comes across as obviously sincere, and thoughtful.

I appreciated his book and movie recommendations, but the reference to an essay by Tennessee Williams called The Catastrophe of Success was the most stirring.

Here’s an insightful quote from that article:

“The sort of life that I had had previous to [my popularity] was one that required endurance, a life of clawing and scratching along a sheer surface and holding on tight with raw fingers to every inch of rock higher than the one caught hold of before, but it was a good life because it was the sort of life for which the human organism is created.”

Humans need existential challenges more than we need acclaim. Famous people often get trapped by their acclaim.

And all too often they’re found alone in a room and dead, stricken by some form of self-medication.

The real cause of death, of course, is probably something else.

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