How Rewarding Is the Pursuit of Fame and Fortune?
HE WAS a singer in his early twenties. Within two years he had become a multimillionaire. But did fame and fortune bring him real happiness and satisfaction?
This popular entertainer admitted: ‘I wonder if it’s all worth it—the fame and money thing, I mean. I can’t even go into a restaurant and finish a meal without being tracked down by photographers, reporters and autograph hounds. I have to have my meals sent up to my hotel room. I can’t go for a walk because I could be kidnapped. I can’t go to a movie or a ball game. It’s a lonesome life when you’re out on the road touring. All you can do is sit in your room watching TV. I never open gifts—except from my friends. Never know what could be inside. Maybe an explosive sent by some kook.’
Although having gained popularity and riches, this young man had lost much. No longer could he enjoy very common things that he had at one time taken for granted. His changed situation made him a prisoner.
Others in similar circumstances have experienced like disillusionment. They struggled to attain a certain goal, only to find that it did not fulfill prior expectations. While the wealthy and famous may have many admirers, they have few, if any, real friends. It repeatedly happens that, when popularity and riches vanish, the admirers turn to someone else. This hard fact of life is acknowledged in an ancient proverb: “Wealth makes many friends, but a man without means loses the friend he has.”—Prov. 19:4, The New English Bible.
Clearly, the pursuit of fame and fortune is not satisfying. Since this is also true of other material goals, what should a person make his primary aim in life?
A man who is widely acknowledged as the greatest teacher of all times gave this advice: “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal. Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”—Matt. 6:19, 20.
Hence, if we desire abiding joy and contentment, we should avoid centering our life around material pursuits, for these have no lasting value and often lead to bitter disappointment. Rather, our main concern should be to have a fine standing with our Maker. A record of fine works with him will be like secure treasure deposited in the heavens. That treasure will yield rich rewards from the eternal God. So, instead of looking enviously at the few who have attained fame and fortune, we will be content in having something far more valuable—an approved relationship with the Most High.