Sunday, July 4, 2010

On "If Only. . ."s and Fame

Reaching out my hand, I hit the buzzer button that was in front of me. Immediately, a buzz resounded, acknowledging my touch.
"Team B, you have the answer?"
Hesitating, I brought my mouth close to the microphone and glanced around the crowd who had their eyes locked on me. Hesitating again, heart pounding, and unsure of myself, I blurted out my answer in a wavering voice; my eyes on the panel of judges in front of me.
Slowly but surely, one of the judge's hand moved towards the green card - the one, of course, I preferred over it's red counterpart lying beside it. Half an hour later, victorious we emerged.

Fake. . . It's all fake - all of the above. In reality, hit the buzzer I did not, resulting in a victory that did not come. Ever have two words resound in your head over and over again? "If only, if only, if....". It taunts you, forcing yourself to think what might have been, what should have been, what could have been. And you agonize in regret, wondering why you did what you did (or did not do).

Being human, we all are subjugated to these thoughts. After all, who doesn't think of changing the past? Most of the time, we can easily imagine how things could have been better, but do we imagine how things could have been worst? So, as it goes, we should learn to not dwell on how things could have been better, but be grateful for the good things that has happen. I'm not saying that we must be complacent with what with have achieved - there is always room for improvement - but that we should realize that the past cannot be changed, and that "if only"s are just wistful thoughts.

But why did I wish what I did? Why does my heart wish that I had not hesitated at that time and that I had just been more sure of myself? It is because of fame and nothing less. You see, fame is addictive. Once acquired, one lusts for even more. It can capture your heart, hold your thoughts and control your actions. Fame, is also contagious. Seeing people succeeding, achieving, winning, brings out a spirit in us that we hardly know - one that is willing to do almost anything to be in the place of those who have "stolen" the fame form you.

You must understand - I must understand! - that this spirit of lust of fame is a dangerous one. One must search one's self thoroughly to be sure that one is not captured by it. For in fact, fighting for self-fame is not worth it and we won't ever be satisfied with whatever fame we may get. Sure, we might be able to bask in fame for a couple of minutes, hours, days or even years, but in the end, if we are not forgotten during the course of mankind, we will be when humans cease to exist. What is fame on earth compared to eternity? For I am convinced that humility on earth will produce eternal fame. But, a struggle it is, and a struggle it will always be.

So, life teaches you. Losing teaches you. Almost winning but losing in the end teaches you more. Looking back, being second best was just what I needed, for it taught me to let go. . . . to let go. . . and be satisfied.

1 comment:

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