How many of you like to dream?
Most of us dream. Some of us dream very high or very low. A few dream, exceptionally high, and reach the stars.
Remember this song..
Somewhere over the rainbow
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?
Judy Garland sang this. About the importance of dreaming. And reaching for the stars.
As she did, Winsome, adorable, versatile, an actress, extremely talented, who charmed us with her lovely face, her lovely voice and her humongous talent. But she never remained a star for long.
She died of a drug overdose at age 47.
She was not the only one.
Look at Janis Joplin ~the American acid rock/blues singer. The queen of rock and roll, the epitome of~rebelliousness and daring to be different with a short four year career and was considered amongst the top 100 greatest artists.
She too died of a drug overdose at age 27.
Another star. Exploded before its time.
There are so many shooting stars. Many which collapse under the power of their own brilliance.
The list goes on.
What was common to all?
All geniuses. Artists beyond compare. Whose influences live on countless years after their death. Prodigious talent which blinded us to their essential humanity with the strength of their brilliance..
And also their lives and deaths. Tragic, untimely.
How many times have we wished to be like the stars?
How many times have we envied their rise, their talent, the fame, the money, the glory, the adulation, the glamour, the choices.? How many times we have been overwhelmed by their resplendence, and their passion? Their uniqueness which sets them part.
Rememer the poem;
Twinkle, twinkle..little star..
How I wonder what you are..
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.
But what we don’t realize, is that being a genius it comes with challenges and issues which may be so overwhelming that it may lead to the extinguishing of that talent.
We forget, that those whom we adore, are at the end of the day human beings. Human beings, with emotions, cares , sensitivities, weaknesses and in additioncarrying the burden of being the source of incredible talent. Burden of managing it. Managing real life issues. Psychological pressures. Emotional pressures.
This is reflected in their troubled personal lives. The lack of privacy, media and public scrutiny rip their privacy apart. Surrounded by acolytes and manipulators, they have no trust.or faith. They lose hope on humans, even family. Conflicts. Develop faith on drugs and alchohol. They cannot handle the fame/money.
Their talent has been enormous and indubitable. They have burnt us with their explosiveness, charmed us, shocked us.
But on the flip side, they have demonstrated such inability to manage their personal demons so much so that most of them end up taking their own lives.
In short, they lose the balance which is so necessary to survive and handle the pressures of talent/fame/life itself.
What lessons does this hold for us?What can we do to prevent future loss of talents?
Because it is an undeniable tragedy that we lose the best of our brains, the best of our creativities.While it is important 2 celebrate talent, to give the place deserved by it, expose it, it is also important to keep balance. It is very important to manage their talent not at the cost to themselves. We as parents, as partners of talents, have responsibility to encourage but not push, to expose but not overexpose, to manage but not manipulate. To respect that they are humans first, talents last.
I ask you a question.
If you are blessed to have an exceptional talent in your family, what will you do? Make use of their promise to extract the most of them or live and let them be to pursue their own life? To be happy? To enjoy their talents while not repressing them?
My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends – it gives a lovely light!
Let us keep our precious candles burning as long as possible in healthy way so that they don’t burn out anytime too soon.
The life of a star is a life both full of promise and despair. While great riches, fame beckon you, there is always the possibility of shadier and dangerous water, which may ultimately drown you.
Shooting stars are short lived, lighting a trail of brilliance before its destruction.That is how I would like to think of these talents, these sparks who die out before their time but not before laying open their gargantuan talents and their weaknesses.
Let us pray that we do not allow this to happen to our future stars…
- Police: Leslie Carter Died from Drug Overdose (rollingstone.com)
- Of Fame and Uncaring (weeklyrift.com)