03 November 2009

On Being Popular

Mass popularity, like extraordinary wealth, is so old hat. Like many 20th century phenomena, they are best kept in the past. The 21st century is make or break time for a more democratic world.

Any wish for popularity, for adulation, is an ambition of the insecure. Many of us are insecure in our youth. We don't know who we really are until we have explored the world on our own for a while and found the path towards our own chosen expressions of excellence. We may take a lifetime to travel our paths and never quite reach the ends we seek. This is all part of a normal existence.

Lasting fame

Insecurity is connected with fears about our own mortality, about our own identity, and the meaningfulness or meaninglessness we perceive in our lives. Is there really any point in having hundreds or even thousands of "followers" or "friends" or "fans" online if they all have hundreds or even thousands of the same? What is the point of it all? Will it make us popular at all?

Lasting fame is usually given to those who never sought it, and they will never be aware of that fame anyway. How many people can you name who are famous now but were never so within their own lifetimes? How many people were famous in their lifetimes (or for a small part of a lifetime) but are only vaguely known today?


Do you believe it is probably better to seek lasting relationships and/or lasting excellence than lasting fame? Relationships with others, like expressions of the arts, are expressions of communication. We communicate emotions, ideas, tastes, values, motives, and all sorts of other aspects of ourselves through the way we connect with our fellow humans. Relationships are an investment in a fulfilling life, as is excellence.

If this is your first visit to this blog, welcome, and to anyone else, welcome back. I hope the ideas here, and the links I provide to the latest research on aspects of identity, will help you to know who you really are - and which path you truly want to follow.

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