is a bright flower, but
weeds abound mostly around it.
Edward Counsel Maxims
desire for fame tempts even noble minds.
-St. Augustine, The City of God
is Fortune, what is Fame? Futile
gold and phantom name--
Riches buried in a cave,
Glory written on a grave.
Henry Van Dyke
and secrecy are the high and low ends of the same fascination.
-Don DeLillo, Underworld
fame of heroes owes little to the extent of their conquests and all to the
success of the tributes paid to them. -Jean
Genet, Prisoner of Love
always brings loneliness. Success is as ice cold and lonely as the
North Pole. -Vicki Baum, Grand Hotel
is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen,
and drowns things weighty and solid. -Francis
talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well; and
doing well whatever you do, without a thought of
present fame think little, and of future less. The praises that we receive
after we are buried, like the posies that are strewn over our graves, may
be gratifying to the living, but they are nothing to the dead; the dead
are gone, either to a place where they hear them not, or where, if they
do, they will despise them. -Charles Caleb
matter how much fame you have, itís not something that belongs to you.
If Iím famous, that doesnít belong to me--that belongs to you. If you
canít remember who I am, Iím no longer famous.
-Michael J. Fox
The people itching for
immortal fame do not see that everyone who remembers them will themselves
soon die, and the next generation in its turn, until these memories,
transmitted by people who foolishly admire and then die, will perish. But
even if these people were immortal and your memory stayed alive forever,
what does it matter to you? What good is praise to the buried, or
even the living, except for some practical use? You reject Nature's
gift today if you cling to what people may say of you
You know, there's a moment
when you're famous when it's unbearable to go out because you're too
famous. And then there's a moment when you're famous just
right. -Steve Martin
For as yet I did not
understand fame, that public destruction of one in the process of
becoming, into whose building-ground the mob breaks, displacing his
long ago a friend brought an aspiring young singer back to my
dressing room after a show. She was close to signing her
first record deal and asked if there were any words of wisdom I
could share with her at the beginning of her career anything about
fame I thought she should know.
I told her what my mother told me when I was a teenager singing in
the Beulah Baptist Church choir. After the service,
everybody in church would make a big fuss over me.
Especially the sisters. "Patsy" they would say,
"you've got the voice of an angel. Your solos are so
pretty they could make a sinner see Jesus."
My mother never said anything in front of the sisters. But
once we got home, Chubby made sure I understood something far too
many people don't: Glory is never diminished by being
"You're not singing by yourself child," Chubby would
say. "Next time you're standing there soaking up all
that praise, I want to hear you give the choir some respect.
If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. A
whole bunch of candles can be lit from one without diminishing it.
Now I know it's nice to have people treat you like a queen.
But, unless you know how to wear it, a crown only has to fall a
few inches to be a noose. Don't you ever forget that."
I never have.
depends upon is the adulation of adoring crowds--if people see you
as worthwhile or important or great, then you have fame. In
other words, fame is one of those things that depend upon the
perspectives of other people in order to be a part of our lives,
and that presents another dangerous side of fame. When we
become dependent upon our fame, we suddenly become dependent upon
our ability to maintain the adulation of others, and the
temptation becomes very strong to make decisions based upon how
others will see our actions rather than what we know to be right
How many actors do you think have taken roles that they haven't
felt good about just to keep their names in the limelight?
How many singers have recorded awful albums because someone has
convinced them that this is what the public wants? How many
writers have written what they think their public wants instead of
what's in their hearts?
In other words, fame is something that can make us compromise our
principles or integrity when we want to maintain it or gain it,
and that's something that never can be good. Those are two
things that never should be compromised, yet that are compromised
regularly in the pursuit of or the maintenance of fame.
Fame is much like money--it doesn't seem to be the fame itself
that harms us, but the desire to have it that makes us act as we
wouldn't act if we were acting from our hearts. The desire
to be famous can cause us to harm other people in our attempts to
be famous, to be people that we know in our hearts are simply not
the authentic people we were meant to be. And that can never
be something that leads us to living our lives fully.
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