Saturday, June 16, 2012

You're the superstar of your own life

The picture that I uploaded was taken by me in last summer's (2011) Pori Jazz festival. Angelique Kidjo performed with Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright as the trio Sing the Truth unless someone doesn't recognize her. For once I decided to choose a photo from my own files and I also thought that this photo might suit perfectly to my today's subject which is talking philosophically on dreams, fortune and human nature. If you read through my labels Christianity is the heart of my blog but philosophy might be its soul :).

I also decided to add the lyrics of Lauryn Hill's "Superstar" to the end of my blog post because they suit perfectly to my subject and main point of this post which is stating that physical and material qualities can't define your worth as a human and anyone shouldn't be measured or judged by these outer qualities such as money, titles and looks. As we know, Ms. Hill actually rebelled passionately against these traditional star qualities and Hollywood's values and she finally chose motherhood and more concrete way of following God as better options than living in the falsic image of spotlight. She indeed was, is and will be a superstar winning 5 Grammy awards in one night for her 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill but because of her choice of dropping out of the public eye and because of the message that she transmitted through her music and image I can't see her as a traditional superstar but as someone grounded and more "real" who we "ordinary" people can relate to. The message that Lauryn stated in her lyrics and by her life choices supports my philosophy in this blog post.

So why am I talking about this? Because I'm someone with deep thoughts and big dreams myself but most importantly: Actually the actions of other people started arousing these thoughts that are coming up in my post. I was watching an interview of one of my role models in Youtube and I paid attention to one thing: People are really angry and cruel out there! I mean the ones who comment on the videos. Where does this anger comes from? All I can see is mostly hatred and debate out there. Hatred and debate that don't lead us anywhere or it actually does: For guilt and possibly some sorrow. There wouldn't be anger without reason and for sure the reason is within us, not in this fortunate person who has the opportunity to share us his or her story as an example from which we can learn from. When the walls start trembling something isn't alright. The angry comments come from jealous and/or insecure people or simply from people with different moral values. It's easy but unfair to judge anyone by 100 words. Someone was talking negatively on my role model and the other one answered like:" You're saying those bad things because your own achievements will never be even close to greatness of hers." THIS was the sentence that started arousing my thoughts.

What's the solution for stopping all anger in the world? EQUALITY. But is equality even possible with 100% in this universe? Well, to be honest, I don't think it is possible to reach equality fully because there are billions of people in the world with hundreds of different worldviews, different culture and traditions and different circumstances of life. But I think it's still amazing how all countries and all people depend on each other. That's globalization. We're so different but we can't survive without each other. And all controversy arouses from difference, from inequality. Differences have become gaps between us in many cases. It's hardly even possible that everybody or everything would be similar. I say hardly, because only identical twins born with similar qualities. I took these cases as examples because I'm talking about human nature.

The reason why the debate on my role model (and hundreds of other role models!) exists is that someone might think that celebrities and politicians are somehow above us or better than us ordinary people because they're privileged. And they're privileged because they're rich, they're millionaires. But the whole point in my blog post is that there are no ordinary or famous people - there are just people! I mean, let's forget this surreal gap between famous people and so called ordinary people. I'm not saying that everybody thinks in this way that there's a gap but there for sure is an imaginary gap! The gap exists of course because of money. We have to realize that money is illusion. Money is real but it has created the imaginary gap which has become an hierarchy: 1. Royalty, presidents and politicians 2. Celebrities (other famous people) 3. Us, the so called ordinary people! Forget the money, forget the titles and you will see that there's no basically any difference between us and the famous people. I'll tell a couple of examples but in my opinion Princess Kate Middleton is the best one: Now she's a millionaire and she's got her royal title because she married Prince William. Well, before that she was like a girl next door, one of us so called ordinary people as she wasn't even born to an aristocratic family and hardly she had any fame either before starting to date William. So, in theory she's still the same girl next door who just lately got rich by marriage but for sure they married for love :).
Besides, all millionaires aren't even famous but there still seems to exist this gap between millionaires and people living by ordinary salary or in the worst case living without any salary at all in poverty. So this comment really gets to me and when you watch almost anything in youtube there are hundreds of similar ones:" You're saying those bad things because your own achievements will never be even close to greatness of hers." I'm sure that the people commenting in this way basically mean that we'll never be able to earn millions. Well, he or she is pretty much right because only 1% or less of the world's population are millionaires. Well, I'm anyway sure that the percentage of millionaires is pretty small if not even tiny.
Also the another point that I'd like to bring out concerning the Youtube comment is that there possibly might be this attitude that your achievement is great or your dream is worthy only if we can read or hear about it in the media. Well, I agree that this sounds like a strong colourful generalization but to me it's really unfair to bring anyone down in this way like the commenter.
Our dreams are as valuable as the dreams and achievements of the celebrities. No matter will we ever earn millions by our talents: our dreams are still always big and our achievements great though they possibly won't end up in the media. I mean, we don't even necessarily try to pursue a fortune of millions but our achievements may be great in our scale anyway. Let me say by my experience: I finished my debut book The Rainbow of Tones almost two years ago and it's still unpublished because of financial reasons. I started writing 10 years ago and I actually have never dreamt of becoming a rich famous author in the same dimension as J.K. Rowling for example. That's not realistic. My humble wish and dream has only being getting my work published because the publication itself would be a huge fulfilled dream for me even if I couldn't sell a single copy. The publication itself is a huge achievement itself worth celebrating. Now few years later as I'm a student living on my own I've lately been through tough financial times and living tough financial times like this, there's no denying that I wouldn't be glad to earn some profit for my writing because it undoubtedly would ease my struggle more or less. I'm just saying that I'm not expecting anything huge but yes, in this situation earning some profit would be welcome but I want to highlight that that wasn't my motivation for writing in the first place. I also think that my possible up-coming number of sold copies won't define my worth as an author or the level of my talent - I'll probably never have an huge international breakthrough but I just don't see myself any less talented or worthy than such millionaires as J.K. Rowling and Paulo Coelho. That's the money gap, the illusion. Also, The Rainbow of Tones is only my debut book and you rarely achieve the breakthrough by the first trial, do you? To be honest, I'm currently working on my first actual novel, my sophomore book Heard the Voice of An Angel and in my dreams of an career plan I see my sophomore book as my possible up-coming breakthrough, or at least I'm working on it with this attitude. Or God knows, maybe my third project the humour book Possinhavukka will be my breakthrough? Anyway, I'm truly not looking forward to huge success after publishing my debut, the success may come later if it's to come :).
Oh and one more notion: All these celebrities and people in the public eye of course got up from nothing! Very rare of them had their breakthroughs by first trials and yes indeed they were first just average people with big dreams just like us before becoming internationally acclaimed millionaires :).

I'm not saying that looks or wealth wouldn't matter at all but in my opinion value and importance of them both is highly exaggerated  in this modern materialistic world. OK, let's appreciate them both but let's not overdo it. Not every beautiful girl become a model. Not every talented singer got a record deal. Not every passionate actor make it to the movies. I think what we read in the magazines every day is only a quarter of the truth of our true potential and what's truly valuable in us or in the world - if not even that much! Whatever inspires us or whatever dream of achieving, we have to keep it going because we're already champions in our God given special gifts. We may not become internationally acclaimed in our talent but we're already superstars of our own lives if we have been acclaimed any at all in our fields whether it being writing, sports or acting. It's also important that whatever we do, we do it because we love it money not being the only motivation to do it.

My one last comments relating this subject will arise from my own life experience. It happens to be that my Kurdish boyfriend was fortunate to be born a son of a millionaire businessman and he lived in a luxurious lifestyle until becoming a political refugee in 2008 and having to leave his home country. Since he has had to earn his living by "an ordinary day job" in a pizzeria here in Finland his millionaire lifestyle are good old days right now but he still has a millionaire's outlook on life: He loves spending (and I'm the one who's more careful about using money and is into saving)! Also, from my point of view it's really unfortunate that he seems to believe in this hierarchy of rich and privileged that I myself like to call as an illusion caused by money. It's unfortunate because he has made pretty clear to me what's my position in this hierarchy: In his culture there are clear "men's chores" and "women's chores". He has made very clear that if I'd be a millionaire model on the covers of magazines he wouldn't require household chores from me. I'm REALLY sorry but this inequality makes me really angry. So I suppose if he would be dating a model any household chores wouldn't be done or he'd hire a maid. If there are so clear "men's chores" and "women's chores" in his culture, what gives the rights for rich women to be treated in any way differently than the ones with ordinary salary or living in total poverty? I'm really, really sorry but I was brought up to not to believe in that those with money and status are somehow more important or higher than average people.
Besides, here in Finland the gap between celebrities and ordinary people doesn't exist in the same way as in the USA. There are really few millionaires in here but yes there are some Finnish celebrity millionaires such as F1 drivers Kimi Räikkönen and (former F1 driver) Mika Häkkinen but they don't even live in Finland anymore because they became millionaires. Generally, I believe that celebrities might do pretty well here financially but they make it really, really seldom to millions to my experience. I believe that their earnings are generally pretty close to average person's earnings after graduating into some well-paid job from university or college or even more than that. To me Finnish celebrities feel like "girls and boys next door" because the financial gap really isn't far as huge as it's in the USA. Also that's why I'm so angry with my boyfriend for judging me as less worthy for not being a millionaire in the magazines because everybody should have (human) rights. In my opinion he's watching the world pretty much through pink glasses and I wish that he would take them off and see the potential in me what he has had in front of his eyes for the past 3 years. I've been really patient and forgiving with him.

I'm not sure are you my dear readers with me in my thoughts but this is me and I can only be me. I'm just getting really tired with inequality because I experienced it a lot in my past. As a woman coming from Western culture I just had the idea of ideal equality between man and woman and between different kind of people already in my mother's milk and foreigners coming to live in Finland compliment the great state of realized equality in here - that's why it's a huge culture shock for me that my Kurdish boyfriend doesn't see me as an equal for two reasons 1) I'm a woman 2) I'm not especially rich! Or a model, singer, actress or politician etc... I really feel like he could have easily married someone Kurdish celebrity if he had wanted to but he doesn't want to marry a muslim as he isn't a muslim himself. I feel myself so small and not good enough for him (though now he's just a regular worker in pizzeria). And this all just because he's been there done that - he has been able to taste what is it like being rich and hanging with people on Kurdish TV screens. I only wish that he could realize the life now. My Kurdish father-in-law has remained distant for me but I've exchanged few words with my Kurdish mother-in-law on phone - just some small talk in sorani. My boyfriend revealed his background for me only when we had concretely started dating, he didn't talk about it in the first date. I think he wanted to make sure that I'm with him for himself, not for his believed status in his home country. I'm also not the only Finnish young woman who has apparently fallen in love with a rich immigrant: a Finnish model Anni Uusivirta lives in prosperity with her Arabic fiancé in Abu Dhabi and she has told in media how her fiancé constantly indulges her buying trendy clothes for her. Anni's life and relationship with her fiancé have only turned out a little better than mine as our wealth shines with its absence. They're equal.    

There's no reason to envy famous people whether they were politicians or other ones in the public eye because there's no any real gap between us - the money gap is illusion. We can't judge anybody's worth by money. Also the Bible has its word on this subject but I guess anybody Christian reading my post remembers by heart what Jesus taught about the destiny of the rich. We also mostly see wealth as a blessing which it surely is when you use it right but wealth isn't a guarantee after all to make us any happier: When I say this names such as Drew Barrymore, Britney Spears, Linday Lohan, Princess Diana of Wales and Marilyn Monroe pop into my mind (but there must be others too). I guess from these examples it brought the most misfortune and suffering for Diana to be in the spotlight - we all know her story. I'm trying to say that in many cases the blessings of wealth and fame have turned into a curse.  
Lauryn Hill: Superstar, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Chorus:
Come on baby, light my fire
Everything you drop is so tired
Music is supposed to inspire
How come we ain't getting no higher?

Now tell me your philosophy
On exactly what an artist should be
Should they be someone with prosperity
And no concept of reality?
Now, who you know without any flaws
That lives above the spiritual laws
And does anything they feel just because
THere's always someone there who'll applaud

Repeat chorus

I know you think that you've got it all
And by making other people feel small
Makes you think you're unable to fall
But when you do, who you gonna call?
See, what you give is just what you get
I know it hasn't hit you yet
Now I don't mean to get you upset
But every cause has an effect

Repeat chorus

I cross sands in distant lands, made plans with the Sheik
Why you beef with freaks as my album sales peak?
All I wanted was to sell like five hundred
And be a ghetto superstar since my first album blunted
I used to work at Foot Locker, they fired me and fronted
Or I quited, now I spit it however do you want it?
Now you get it
Writing rhymes my range with the frames slightly tinted
They send it to your block and have my full name cemented
And if your rhymes sound like mine, I'm taking a percentage
Unprecedented and still respected when it's vintage
I'm serious, I'm taking over areas in Aquarius
Running red lights with my ten thousand chariots
Just as Christ was a superstar, you stupid star
They'll hail you, they'll nail you, no matter who you are
They'll make you now, take you down
And make you face it, if you still slit the bag open
Put your pinky finger in it, then taste it

Repeat chorus x3


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  4. good posting about You're the superstar of your own life

  5. Hi sister Mary!
    It is so good to find a post like this, it is very, very enlightening. So glad we met, and I am excited to know Jesus is at the centre of your life and blog.
    Have a super blessed weekend!