Holy Week Questions: What Kind of Famous?

There have been three studies over the past several years declaring that – more than anything else – “kids today” want to be famous.  And there are lots of different kinds of famous:

Obviously some kinds of famous are crossovers.  People know Tiger Woods for sports plus several other things.  Same with Amal Clooney and Abby Wambaugh and Whoopi Goldberg and Kate Bowler.

Can you think of anyone who is famous because of the way they live their lives for others? I was thinking the other day about the people I consider to be National Treasures and they tend to be the ones who do creative, self-sacrificial things:

Bryan Stephenson. Dolly Parton. John Green. Melinda and Bill Gates. Hasan Minhaj.

Those who personally know those people would surely say that they are deeply flawed, and yet they make daily choices that benefit strangers.  Each of them could spend their lives sitting on their own laurels and yet they serve “the least of these.”  They find joy in service.

The world is better because of the way they live.

Especially on this week when we remember the last days of Jesus’ life, I want the world to be better because of the way I live.  I want the world to be better because of the way you live.  I want my children to change the world for good.  I want your children to change the world for good.

This doesn’t happen if we seek to be famous and so it’s fairly disturbing that being famous is a widely held aspiration – and not just among “the kids.”  Imagine a world in which we aspire to serve rather than to be served.  This is God’s breathtaking message.  This is Truth.

Image of Deah Barakat and Yusur Mohammad Abu Salha.  I dedicate this post to the memory of Deah who- with his wife Yusur and her sister Razan – were murdered in my hometown on 2-10-15.  Mr. Barakat was an extraordinary human being who made the world a much better place.  You can donate to a charity in their names here.

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