“How do you become famous?”
This was a 10-year old student’s question to an assembly of three radio talk show hosts after they had rattled off a number of celebrities they had interviewed over the last few years. Their response: “Be the best at what you do.” Simple answer for a simple question from a simple child, or so it seems.
In that question and answer session with 200+ young minds, there were about 25 students who had the privilege of asking some deep penetrating questions to the world travelers on stage. The three had talked to hundreds of artists from across the music industry. They had seen and experienced the stars in some of their most candid moments. They held insights on our societal “role models” and could illuminate our notions of what success and fame actually meant if only someone would probe them for answers. And so naturally, the first question was, “Have you met Justin Bieber?”
If that wasn’t enough, 23 out of the approximately 25 questions were of a similar fashion. “Do you know – Kanye West, Rihanna, One Directions, Jay-Z, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Mahatma Ghandi.” Okay, no one asked about that last one but I’m sure old Mohandas was floating through their cerebral cortex. Nonetheless, I was truly amazed at how fascinated and infatuated these youngsters were with the celebrities of our generation.
Now, I won’t go into the full ramifications or causes of how and why this desire for stardom came about, or what its upending consequences will be, but I will ask one question of my own…
Whether from student, staff, or radio show hosts, where was the question, ‘WHY should we be famous?’