It’s been a terrible year for celebrities dying.
We’re almost at the point where we’re scared to switch on the news as we know that a person we looked up to is no longer here; a musician you grew up listening to or a comedian who’d make you laugh when no one else could, here one minute, gone the next.
There’s the outpouring of social media grief where people from all over the world share their memories and pass on their condolences. Then we get on with our lives until the next passing touches us in such a way that we need to pause for a second to make another tribute.
Deaths of celebrities affect me just as much as family and friends.
For one, how dare these people die? We put them on pedestals to be worshipped because they’re amazing. They’re not supposed to do normal things that us mere mortals do, like stop breathing. That’s the purpose of having people to admire.
And not only that but it’s when you realise what a lot of these people have achieved it makes your own existence seem very ordinary.
This came to light early in the year when David Bowie passed away. In one of those spooky coincidences usually reserved for far-fetched fiction, days before he died I stumbled upon an item of interest on the internet: you put in how old you are and can find out what David Bowie was doing when he was that age.
So I put mine in to discover that at the same age he was starring in ‘Labyrinth’.
The Jim Henson movie is from that golden era when kids films treated children as adults and engaged them in a way that’s rare nowadays. It’s a role with which most people would be proud to be associated.
Then it got me thinking. That’s what he was doing when he was my age. What had he done before then?
He’d created and killed off Ziggy Stardust. He moonwalked on stage prior to Michael Jackson. He appeared on Broadway in a three month run of ‘The Elephant Man’. Then there were the songs: ‘Space Oddity’, ‘Life On Mars’, ‘Let’s Dance’ to name but three.
What have I done? Well, once I might have got the highest score ever playing Tetris on a black and white Nintendo Game Boy but there’s no evidence it actually happened.
I know I’m married with two kids, which is an achievement, but anybody could do that. Even Hitler.
I want my ground-breaking moment that will make people stop in their tracks and leave a legacy for when I’m gone, and I’m worried that with every day that passes, so does my chances of making it happen.
So instead of doing something I do nothing other than worry about doing nothing when I want to do something.
I can’t sing, I’m terrible at football and my only acting came in a school play when I was a nodding barman. But there must be other things I can do?
While I work that out I’m going to be the best I can for those around me and hopefully my positive nature will make an impact; be it teaching my children to ride their bikes or holding a door open for a stranger.
That’s the trick, you see? We need to walk before we can run. We might not be as fast as others, we might fall over on occasion, but we’re at least trying to make an impression and eventually that effort will be acknowledged.
As a wise man once said, we can be heroes. Just for one day.
Why not make today your turn to be one?
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