The most prominently displayed news item in this morning's paper was the death of Carrie Fisher. I never heard of her but learned she was famous for her role in the Star Wars movies. I never saw any of the movies and don't know the story line in any of them. I certainly don't feel like I missed something of worth. According to the article, Carrie Fisher struggled with addictions and mental illness all her life. Fame and wealth did not bring her happiness or inner peace. She was to be pitied, not envied or idolized.
This got me to thinking. Carrie Fisher was famous but I never heard of her. How many more people are there like me in the world who never heard of her? What percentage of the world's population knew her name or what she was? Maybe not as many as she thought.
Pride was the original sin and caused the downfall of Satan. He dangled the temptation of pride in front of the first people on earth, suggesting they could be as wise as God. And they fell for it--and because of it. The consequences of that choice have reverberated through history and people today are still doing the same thing.
We are tempted to pat ourselves on the back and think we're greater than we really are. When that happens, we should consider the true measure of our importance. How many people are there in the world who never heard of me? Do they feel like they are missing something by not knowing me? Probably not.
Fame is an illusion. Michael Jackson said, "Success, fame, and fortune are all illusions. All there is that is real is the friendship that two can share." He would know. He had success, fame, and fortune and found all of them were hollow. He was a global superstar who became a sad figure haunted by lawsuits, paparazzi, and failed plastic surgery. He had no intimate friendship that was real and satisfying and died at the age of 50 from a drug overdose.
The majority of the world's population never heard my name nor do they care. By the world's standards, I am not a success or famous or rich. And yet I am richer than Michael Jackson and Carrie Fisher because I share a friendship with One who is closer than a brother. That is real and satisfying. I don't need to resort to drugs and alcohol because my Friend fills all the needs of my heart. That is the greatest fortune possible and true successful living.