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"Fear of Succesful People"

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:52 pm
by ravenrussell
"Fear of Successful People"

i'm told, quite often that i have a fear of success. If the world would only stop showing me examples of success being detrimental, I might start labeling myself that way. As a teenager, I watched Saturday Night Live every week. The two funniest men on the show at the time died during their tenure. Chris Farley was said to be the next Belushi, he was already predestined to fall like his predecessor. A confusing thing happened, however, when Phil Hartman was murdered by his wife. What is success, but a quagmire, and envy filled goal that sinks the best of us?

Further down the rabbit hole, I was shown that before I was born two beautiful, world changing brothers were murdered before their time. John and Robert, built from old money, and great stock, were taken near the peak of their success.

To a lesser regard, my mother, who in her lifetime reached no higher goal, but was loved by all, had a fall from heights. When I was younger she rose to the rank of Vice President of a company, only to lose it when her boss was charged with embezzlement. The stolen funds were not only what the President took, but he took my mother's drive, her ambition. She never climbed the ranks again, dare I say, she had been taught the fear of success.

In school, I witnessed the school elections continually elect the more popular choice. The intellectual, school changing candidate, inevitably fell to who threw the better out-of-school parties. It reminds me of a certain election process that just happened in our world.

I now have a fear of successful people, their ladders to the top are lined with bloody handprints and treacherous misdeeds. When I was about 8 years old, I was swimming with my best friend at the time. We were in the deep end of the pool, and he began to drown. He began to climb my body to the air above the water. He kicked me on his way, he pushed off my sinking body over and over again. It was the longest I had ever been underwater, and the longest held breath I've ever experienced. How this story pertains to this essay is open to the reader.

Music, to me, is one of the great equalizers. I would like to think that we all experience music differently, but that it is a vital part of this thing we call reality. The difficulty arises when we start to speak of our favorite artists, and their ultimate demise. Would they still be alive if they hadn't reached penultimate popularity? Is success what killed them? Would Michael Jackson be an accountant now, alive and unhappy of his circumstances, but alive nonetheless, if he hadn't ever been successful in music?

A point must be made about the amount of suicides, that I believe can sometime be linked to not fulfilling ones goals of success. In Japan, for example, students will kill themselves if they don't pass a certain test, or benchmark in their schooling. Or what of the bankers and stock marketeers who jumped from buildings when their success, a large portfolio of investments, disappeared. Robin Williams, Hunter S. Thompson, Owen Wilson's attempt, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath (and her protege Anne Sexton). The list can go on ad infinitum, when we list people we know personally, who have lost their life to success.

"Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."

In other ways I've seen people lose their minds, their giving souls, their time and money, to the pursuit of success. Power driven individuals who become nothing more than their garage full of cars and an empty fuel tank.

My thought is that to get through my learned fear of success, I must redefine success. Thankfully, I am in a program, with meetings, of ego deflation. The program helps me recenter when I am askew, and to realize my blessings, which before seemed very few, but now bloom bountiful. A change of perspective is needed for my fears to dissipate. A new set of eyes can put me in success, without its trappings. I can rise to the top, which for me would be loving myself completely, and noticing the miracles of everyday life.

Dear world,

You can keep your greener grass. I'll dance the day away in my yellow field of dandelions. For a weed, is some plant that you don't want there. A life, is some concept, that I want growing over here. A simple cry to the world for the untapped success in me.

Russell Jay Keenan
11/30/2016 12:15pm

Re: "Fear of Succesful People"

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:01 am
by ravenrussell
Too long, but not informative enough. I wish I wanted to edit this, but I don't.

Re: "Fear of Succesful People"

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:21 am
by ghostdogg
A long, but very captivating, read. Your work usually hits close to home with me and this only adds to that repertoire. See... You got me talking all fancy now. :)

I don't want to use big words to seem like I know what I'm talking about. I admit that I don't. There's one line that I'm re-reading over and over again...
I would like to think that we all experience music differently, but that it is a vital part of this thing we call reality.

Why the word "but" here? Does this vital part (of reality) object or negate the fact that we all experience music differently? Or are you adding on that this is just a fact of reality?

If it's the latter, I would read it as "and" instead but if it's the former, then I'd be really interested in your perception on this...

Re: "Fear of Succesful People"

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:17 am
by Phara
this is brilliant. i am getting drunk. i will be back

Re: "Fear of Succesful People"

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:39 am
by ravenrussell
@#! $ Hiccup

Re: "Fear of Succesful People"

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:41 am
by ravenrussell
I understand using, and, instead of but. Good point.

Re: "Fear of Succesful People"

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:38 pm
by ink
hmm.. dupe somewhere else