The world celebrates a life of fame and glamour, best exemplified by the word ‘celebrity’. We are all nudged to aspire to be like celebrities.
Yet, by definition, fame and glamour is exclusive. It is not meant for the masses. You and I are unlikely to ever be famous or glamourous. The conflict between these aspirations and the reality of our lives sets us up for disappointment. It lies at the bottom of the empty, sinking feeling we have on having a brief exposure to the world of celebrities.
If this celebration of fame and glamour only pushes us into a sinkhole of depression, what is the alternative?
Well, instead of celebrating fame and glamour, what if we celebrated its opposite – the pedestrian and the mundane? What if we listened to the life-story of our grandparent? What if we appreciated paintings that depicted the lives of everyday people? What if we read books that depicted the colourful lives of the working class are? How would that make us feel?
RK Narayan, Anton Chekov, George Orwell, Johannes Vermeer – the work of all of these artists celebrate the lives of people we consider mundane. Yet, our lives have much more in common with their characters than celebrities. By celebrating their work, we celebrate our own lives.