Jim Carrey - “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer.”
Years ago on a visit to Singapore a taxi driver told me that Michael Jackson had recently been in town.
We spoke about his talent and what a life he must have lead and then all of a sudden the driver said with much authority:
“Famous people are in a prison, we are the lucky ones, we are the free ones, not them.”
He was right. There is a curse that seems to come with fame and it certainly does not seem to make people happy in the way we think it will.
Jim Carrey is quoted as saying:
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer.”
This again seems to have some kind of profound truth.
While money and fame might bring temporary happiness, it also seems to bring a lot of misery in many cases. Michael Jackson obviously felt he missed out on a childhood, he was unhappy with his looks and lived in a kind of bubble. There was an aura of sadness surrounding him despite his immense musical and dancing talents.
Fame and money cannot bring back innocence. They cannot bring people back to life, cure cancer or fix a broken marriage. They cannot cure addiction, prevent a car accident or help you sleep at night.
Fame and money can only bring a temporary or shallow type of bliss.
Happiness is a funny thing, it is kind of elusive.
You often look back at times in your life and realize that you were really happy doing certain things, that at the time you were kind of oblivious of.
While many people yearn for fame and riches the reality would be very different to what is imagined.
I mean think about what celebrity brings, you would lose most of your privacy, you would find yourself surrounded by people who you are not sure were genuine. Friendships and family relationships would be challenged. People would stare at you, treat you differently, it would be hard.
I guess that is OK if it is something you really want, a lot of celebrities like attention and are eccentric, but it is not like you can then decide to switch it off. Once you are known you are known and in the digital age we live in, your every move is then being watched.
Fran Lebowitz once said:
“The best fame is a writer's fame. It's enough to get a table at a good restaurant, but not enough to get you interrupted when you eat.”
Perhaps this is true.
I think being able to sleep easy at night is a type of wealth which reminds me of something Woody Allen once said:
“There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.”