FAME IF YOU WIN IT
There was a time when you’d have to be from a distant planet not to recognize the name John Wayne. For lots of reasons the name’s still way up high on the recognizable scale. It’ll take a long time before a whole generation will say, “Who ‘s that?” But it'll happen, won't it.
There’s something sad about that but there it is. It’s like my Cassie says (she’s my little Yorkie dog, bilingual, speaks Dogese and English, but speaks English to no one but me}—she says it doesn’t matter, the thing that really matters is living with integrity.
I’ve told her more than once that I wish she would speak English to everyone but she just won’t have it. Just wants to live a quiet life of integrity. Now and then I tell people Cassie speaks English and they only laugh—I told her that and she said, “Well, what do you expect?” I told her she could earn a lot of money and be famous. That was a mistake!
Immediately, there she was up on her hind legs waltzing all over our little apartment floor, giving me the Jimmy Durante impression and singing a couple of lines from one of his hits, Make Someone Happy.
Make someone happy,Make just one someone happy;Make just one heart the heart you sing to.One smile that cheers you,One face that lights when it nears you,One girl you're ev'rything to.Fame if you win it,Comes and goes in a minute.Where's the real stuff in life to cling to?Love is the answer,Someone to love is the answer.Once you've found her, build your world around her.Make someone happy, Make just one someone happy,And you will be happy, too.
When she got to, “Fame if you win it/comes and goes in a minute,” she really started that Durante head-shaking business with her front paws out sideways. Sigh. That dog!
Still, I can’t deny that she’s right on target with her philosophy of life.
You don’t begrudge celebrities like John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Tom Hanks their fame, do you? Others who you think are too coarse or crude or who work hard at being offensive—you might wish they didn’t have as much influence or prominence. It’s true they don’t care a button about what people like me think and that makes sense to me; working from their perspective why would they?
Look, there’s only one Jesus! The rest of us were born into a fallen world and it was inevitable that we’d end up sinning—God knows that better than we do. That’s why he didn’t send any of us to save us; he came himself in and as Jesus of Nazareth.
I’m aware of my own sinfulness and I don’t in the least find it strange that everyone else is as I am. What troubles me is how some of us truly exult in our evil—evil that targets the voiceless, the weak, the vulnerable, the helpless and makes hell out of life.
I wonder if there are people who truly, actually, sincerely and genuinely don’t give a damn about the agony they inflict? Do they never—never—lie in the darkness of their room at night and wonder who or what they are, what they have become? I suspect there are such people but, dear God, what moral insanity that is, what an awful moral death that is.
They weren’t born that way! Who knows how many factors [individual/familial/cultural] that begin the slide down into such an abyss, into such slavery where men and women look with pleasure at the chains that bind them? Or is it worse if they don’t even think of them as chains but as honor beads or medals of glory?
People with power [fame, money, intellect, brute strength, whatever]—when it’s used for evil it isn’t just personal guilt, it’s world-shaping.
When it's used to ease pain and lift people—that's world-shaping too. It doesn't matter that people don't know God is using them, he's doing it and it would be wonderful if they knew it.