On Facebook and Twitter there are many temptations when interacting with others, especially in the comment sections, to just type instant reactions to what you are thinking with no filter. Most of us can get away with that but what if you are a “somebody” you are defined by that title. It is no longer appropriate to say certain things or say them in a way that could offend someone. The problem with that is the moment an opinion is expressed there is a high likelihood that it will offend someone, somewhere and so it can feel quite stifling and prison-like when trying to cling to the positive opinion of many people.
I often rebel against being labeled. I certainly don’t want to be labeled anything important because that takes away my Freedom to shoot my mouth, or in this case my fingers, off the way I like to. My current status or lack there of affords me the luxury to just put it out there and let the chips fall where they may. The disadvantage to that scenario is that I am just me. I don’t have much power on my own to influence anything. However, I do have Freedom.
I look to those who are considered leaders, celebrities, general famous people and I see how some turn into virtual contortionists trying to stay in favor with the public. It is what must be done for fame and fortune. However, there is a small group of people who manage to stay fairly authentic, to be able to have a shoot-from-the-hip communication style and still be able to stay famous. Anderson Cooper, Oprah Winfrey, Ralf Nader and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are just a few that come to mind off-hand.
I don’t know if these people have shaped their personal lives in a way that may be thought less authentic in order to be accepted by the masses. Only they know that. Yet it is well known when scandals come out how many people feel they need to live a shadow life to be themselves and keep their position in society at the same time.
We appreciate people who can stay authentic. People who speak from a space of knowledge, walk their talk and seem to hold a standard of integrity and truth. They seem to care. One teacher told me once “People want to know how much you care, before they care how much you know.” And I feel that is true.
The public allows those that seem to really care more latitude in the things they say and do as long as they are in alignment with the power they hold. Those who crave more power and fame must also embrace that because their opinions hold more power they must be much more thoughtful about expressing them and in their lifestyle choices. Because frankly it means more.
Is the fame and power worth the lack of Freedom? That is for each individual to decide for themselves. Maybe it is just a matter of trading one brand of Freedom for another?