Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


February 19, 2012

Famous yet very human


In July of 2010, the Kokomo Tribune carried an article about six famous Kokomo residents who were inducted into the “Hall of Legends” at the Kokomo Country Club.

The article enumerated:

“The list of honorees included ‘60 Minutes’ legend Steve Kroft, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Ashenfelter, inspiring artist Harris ‘Misch’ Kohn, author of the ‘Clifford, the Big Red Dog’ books, Normal Bridwell, Kent ‘Oz’ Nelson, CEO of UPS, and probably the most influential of them all, auto maker Elwood Haynes.”

Many other individuals hailing from the Kokomo area have made names for themselves. Yet, no matter how famous one becomes, he is every bit as human as if he were unknown. For some reason, we human beings want to believe that a few of us belong to another species. It is a myth we may be desperate to believe.

The death of Whitney Houston underscores how alike we are. The famous celebrity struggled with life, as did Michael Jackson. Many of us remember the death of other supposedly “immortal” musical greats, like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley.

Musicians, entertainers, great actors, Einstein-like intellects and notable athletes are merely talented and/or self-disciplined mortals, not all that different from the rest of us except in an area or two (or, in the case of someone like da Vinci, several). These famous celebrities may be the best of the best, but when we watch shows like “American Idol,” it appears that raw talent is widely distributed. Sometimes a fine shade of talent and knowing the right people makes the difference, sometimes not.

Consider what we “unknowns” all have in common with the “greats.” We all need air, water and nutrition. We all live, need other people, and we all die. I am of the persuasion that all humans are in the image of God and that we rarely tap our potential. Every person is complex and amazing in multiple ways. Fortunately, we commoners are often more successful when it comes to relationships, family and life in general. The celebrities should be jealous of us.

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