What makes a celebrity so special? It might be their talent. It could be their good looks. It may just be the compounding nature of their notoriety (fame begets fame – see reality TV stars). I guess if they have an ability to stand out from the rest of us, there should be no problem with them doing so. Exceptional people are extraordinary. There’s no harm in acknowledging that. But the by-product is we sometimes overlook the extraordinary in the less-fascinating feats. Still, if we’re truly honest with ourselves, there is some part of all of us that wants what comes with being a celebrity. We want to be rich, we want to be famous, we want to be able to impact the lives of those who are less fortunate than we are. There’s nothing wrong with that.
A while back I asked those of you who follow my Facebook page to tell me what parts of celebrity you would want and why. You left comments listing many of the same areas of influence that I’ve mentioned above, and I agree with them all. But the truth is, we don’t have to be on the Hollywood A-list to realize those benefits, we simply have to look at our children. As far as they’re concerned we are the celebrities. We have the power to affect their lives. We are the ones they look up to and admire, the ones they want to be around. Let me explain…
We Are Rich
Monetary fortune is all about perspective. I’m not wealthy by American standards. But in Indonesia, I’m a king. If Joey finds a nickel in the couch he puts it in his pocket and walks around like he’s the man. He considers the twelve bucks I have in my pocket mind blowing. So when he sees a “Winner Every Time!” skill crane, he knows that his dad is the one to go to for a handout. Sometimes I say “no”, but most of the time I give in, because it is a good feeling to have the money to make someone else happy. And the reality is even the measly $11.50 I have left after the skill crane is still enough to make a difference.
We Are Famous
If you saw someone famous walking on the sidewalk across the street, what would you do? Some of us might be bashful and leave them alone. But many would probably run over and ask for a photo or an autograph or just chat them up for a while. Now think, if it were you across the street and your child spotted you, wouldn’t they come running over to see you? See, in their tiny world, you are the one worth approaching on the street. You are the person they’d want to stop what they were doing to go see. You are the one whose candid photo will earn them thousands of dollars from the tabloids. Well, maybe not that, but you get the idea.
We Can (and do) Make a Difference
Money and fame will help you make an impact in the lives of others, but not so much so that they’re a necessity. Even without our celeb status and our million dollar mansions, our children look to us for their basic needs. They look to us for their loftiest wants, too. They may admire Steve from Blues Clues, but as far as they’re concerned he lives in the TV. We are the people who make a real impact in their lives. We are the celebrities who they want to be like, the ones they look up to, the ones they want to be close to. Yes, it’s easy to forget that when the messes pile up or when they refuse to eat their veggies, but the real value in being a parent comes when we acknowledge how important our status is in the lives of our little ones (and our grown ones, too). It’s about remembering and embracing who we are to the people that matter to us most, and then maximizing our opportunity.
We who have children are rich. We are famous. We are celebrities. We make a difference in someone’s life every single day. And to think we get to be all those things without having dozens of photographers chasing us around our neighborhood. How lucky are we?