How far would you go to keep a promise?
One of the major lotteries here in the US recently paid out an astonishing $550 million, making the 2 winners very happy people indeed. There are many of us, myself included, who often look at celebrities as having hit the jackpot in one way or another. They make an incredible amount of money, and while some are supremely talented, there are others that leave me scratching my head wondering how they could have become so lucky. To make matters worse, it’s usually those “less talented” folks that seem to be the ones that always end up in the papers for some ridiculous form of behavior. My guess is that they don’t really appreciate it because they came by their wealth and success so easily.
What ends up happening is that we all start thinking of those types of celebrities as greedy or selfish, even though we don’t really know anything about their lives other than what is reported. It may very well be that the worst behaved celebrities are actually the most generous when it comes to spending and giving. One of the most publicized celebrity bad boys of recent years is Charlie Sheen, but when you go online to read about him, you constantly hear stories of how generously he tips when he is out and about at clubs and restaurants (Admirable stories of your favorite celebrities). My point is that we don’t really know these celebrities any better or worse than we know the people who live on our street.
Your neighbors might happily greet you with a “good morning” or a little wave as they drive past your home, but do you think they will allow you to share in their wealth if they hit the lottery tomorrow night? Let’s put it another way; would you run out and share in your good fortunes with everyone that you somewhat sort of know, or would you head to the hills with your loot, never to be seen again? If you are among that number that would keep all that money to yourself, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a bad person, much in the same way that a celebrity caught in a drunken brawl at a night club might not be bad.
I spoke in an earlier article about celebrities that do good things for the people they work with and with various charitable organizations, but there are just as many that do so anonymously. Sometimes something big happens that is such a great story, Hollywood takes notice and ends up making a movie about it. One cool story from back in the 90’s was about a cop who promised to share his winnings with a waitress if his numbers came up. He didn’t have enough money to tip the girl, so looked at that offer as a decent substitute. The girl agreed and immediately forgot all about it. As luck would have it, his numbers did hit and he walked off with a $6 million prize. As if the story weren’t cool enough, he then went back to the waitress and made good on the agreement, splitting half the money with her.
It’s a great story, but one that is hard to make a two hour movie out of. Hollywood agreed, but went ahead and made the movie anyway. It was called “It Could Happen To You” and many people left the theater wishing it hadn’t. The problem was that Hollywood took that cool little story and made it into something more than it needed to be. We would all have been fine with hearing about the tale and being thankful that there were still some good honest people in the world. Perhaps each and every one of us has to think about how we look at celebrities and their behavior. Perhaps we do the Hollywood thing and simply try to make something big out of something small. Perhaps it is our behavior and how we perceive celebrities that makes them do the crazy things they do.