We witness real-life stories of people who make it big after starting off humble – the ‘rags to riches’ stories and ‘nobody to celebrity’ status – and no doubt, they give us goose bumps and inspire us to take that extra mile, to work a little harder and to keep pushing our limits, until we enjoy the beautiful combination of popularity (or fame), money, work, jam-packed schedule, dream-like vacation destinations….
It would seem like THE LIFE !
The stories are inspiring, no doubt. I have always enjoyed the movies of Robin Williams, music of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson in the nineties, Linkin Park in the 2000s, Avicii’s EDM, reading Virginia Woolf, Arundhati Roy, T. S. Eliot and so many more….and the world is blessed to have been graced with such powerhouses of talent and influence in the arts, music, politics and sports.
Amongst all these success stories, many of them have had difficult childhoods, parented by folks who who were into drugs or alcohol or abusive by nature, leading to financial restraints and broken homes…and yet children from these families grew up fighting the odds and making their mark in different walks of life.
My question is: what happened after that?
What happens when you’ve reached the pinnacle of fame and fortune and then as time goes by, your health starts declining, the cashboxes don’t ring anymore or you’ve lost a loved one or met with an accident that handicaps you for the rest of your life?
Or simply, you’ve had it all and then feel devoid of purpose….
What happens then?
How would you view life from then on?
Would you continue living?
Or would you just snap the chord of life?
The reason why I ask this is because many of the celebrities I’ve listed amongst my favourites took their own lives apparently out of depression, anxiety and panic attacks, burnout, stress which they probably couldn’t deal with anymore, or died because of overdose of drugs, alcohol….
The very people who have had to endure traumatic childhood or difficult initial years of career are ‘supposed’ to be better equipped to deal with the worst scenarios in life, because hadn’t they already gone through so much and emerged victorious so many times before?
But later on, what made them choose death upon themselves, rather than allow nature to take its course?
Is it because they never really expected the affliction of a disease or the decline in their career or because they were burnt out or been taken over by addictions that finally resulted in overdose and death?
Or because of the feeling that life wasn’t worth living anymore?
Were they living ‘happy’ lives after all? Or was death a choice made at the spur of the moment?
They say depression or suicidal thoughts happen to anyone irrespective of life situation or status. You never know when one’s mental health changes from good to bad, or from bad to worse…
Maybe the best way to equip ourselves would be to spare a thought oftentimes that birth, for one, isn’t our choice. And so, death just shouldn’t be a choice we make, no matter what!
Birth and Death are Nature’s Design, and ought to stay that way.
What happens between birth and death is what we can control to a certain extent through hard work, planning and perseverance.
In the course of this journey, accidents happen, failures hamper our growth, losing loved ones breaks our hearts, people cheat on us, humiliate us, we become jobless, cashless, hopeless….
We may rise and fall and fail to rise again….we MUST brace ourselves to fall after the rise.
There may come a time when money, fame, or even friends and family wouldn’t be enough to make us feel good or erase the loneliness, sadness or inexplicable pain we feel deep inside.
Maybe we need to get used to feeling happy and content being on our own, very early on in life.
At some point, Living might seem like a decision we consciously take. And if we really can’t seem to hold on, seek therapy or any other form of help.
But let’s always promise ourselves that no matter whether we are in the best times of times or the worst of times, we would continue to work, serve, love or
just continue living until Nature itself decides to put an end to the life that it birthed.
And that, I think, would be the true measure of a life well-lived!