Monday, April 28, 2014

The Wisdom Of Carlos Santana

I find myself watching less and less television which isn't so surprising with its lack of offerings and my lack of cable. Most of what I watch is coming from YouTube and documentaries of which there are thousands. During the past week or so, I've been watching the TIME-LIFE History Of Rock'N' Roll, a ten hour documentary of the music genre it's named after. Last night, I was fascinated by some of the statements made by some of the best known names of rock. Bruce Springsteen said the world is made up of those on the outside and those on the inside. He elaborated that most rock stars start out on the outside and find themselves on the inside and fear what he called subversion. Joni Mitchell lamented how her fame took away her ability to live the kind of quiet life of going wherever she felt like going as an unknown; how she had no desire to ever be a star and yet became one. Jerry Garcia spoke of fame by stating, "Nobody wants to being in the center of the spotlight; maybe in your work but not in your life." My favorite quotation of all the musicians came from renowned guitarist Carlos Santana who put celebrity into concise perspective with one sentence:
"It's more fulfilling to be a person than a personality."  

I asked several kids today in class if they would like to be a personality, someone whose name everyone recognizes and each one I asked said they would. When I asked why, the answer was identical: money. We associate fame with fortune and celebrity with contentment in spite of the myriad examples of just the opposite being true. (Several of those interviewed for the documentary believed that Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix were nothing like their on stage personas and that they had no family support system, contributing to their early deaths.) Public adulation, equated to endorsements and Twitter followers, is the yellow brick road to so many of our young people, even really good kids. I showed a clip in class last week from one of the movies entitled Jesus. In the scene, Jesus was entering Jericho, about to encounter Zacchaeus, and was almost crushed by the crowds. My students thought that kind of human obstacle course would get old quickly. I agree. It's telling that the Scriptures often record Jesus separating Himself to be alone and to pray. (My dad, a clinical psychologist as well as a minister of the Gospel was a firm believer in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and just as firm a believer that the Savior was an introvert!) This generation and the one before it have bought into the thesis that the world's adoration will produce the joy we so deeply crave. It won't and it cannot. That joy can only come from the things that won't go on my Master Card or appear on TMZ- family, friends, fellowship with the Lord. I think it would be so difficult to be a personality of substance instead of a person of substance. But there's no shortage of those of us willing to audition for the role. 

Applicable quote of the day, # 1:
“The image is one thing and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image, put it that way.”
Elvis Presley

Applicable quote of the day, # 2:
“A celebrity is any well-known TV or movie star who looks like he spends more than two hours working on his hair.”
Steve Martin

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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