Reality Comes to Dinner…and Stays for Dessert



We’re all human…except when we’re not acting as such.

Let’s face it, being human isn’t always all that it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes we feel we’d rather live a life just like one of the fantastical characters in the fantasy and science fiction novels, films, or television shows that we enjoy. Who wouldn’t want to have eternal life with the hearty constitution of a vampire or an angel? Who wouldn’t rather be the jet-setting action hero in a spy thriller? Wouldn’t your life feel much fuller if you could be the trusted time traveling companion to a Timelord? (Sorry, that last vision was mine…)

Even after watching your favorite television programs, haven’t you ever wondered what it must be like to live the exciting life of an actor or actress who portrays your favorite character? It’s very tempting to believe that actors and actresses avoid most of the pitfalls of our own ordinary, mundane, and often dysfunctional lives.

The sad truth is that, while actors and actresses may have access to see more of the world than we do, or even enjoy being the center of attention for a time, they’re just as susceptible to the pitfalls and foibles that the rest of us fall victim to. You may simply not hear about it (surprising though it may seem in this day and age of pervasive social media).

Even if you’re a popular actor/actress/singer/author today, public attention ALWAYS shifts and ebbs, eventually relegating today’s most favored media prince and princess to “once was” status. It’s inevitable, even for the most popular public figures. That’s how the process of popularity actually works in society. It’s a reflection of the stark half-life of public visibility in today's world. Nothing lasts forever...fame, favor, and good fortune even less so.

Take, for example, one of my favorite characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander Harris as portrayed by Nicholas Brendon. Over ten years ago, he was practically a household name on one of television’s most popular series. Recently, Mr. Brendon has been highlighted in social media for enduring some personal challenges with alcohol and depression, which has led to a number of low points in his life. Despite his continued and prolific career in acting, involving both travel and publicity events, he’s only human, just like the rest of us. It’s with no degree ill-will or mean spiritedness that I mention Mr. Brendon; in fact, I wish him all the very best, and I hope that he will be able to successfully overcome the challenges before him. My point is that it’s always easier to look to others’ lives, believing they’re enjoying more exciting and successful experiences than the rest of us.

Please bear in mind that sometimes living a mundane, ordinary life can feel more satisfying than we give it credit for. You may not be as bad off as you think you are, though it’s often difficult to appreciate the good fortune and blessings in your life when you’re distracted by everyone else’s. And that’s not a harsh criticism of you, either. It’s actually quite a human reaction; it’s more than understandable, and most of us do it at one time or another.

Even me.

Take a moment to appreciate what’s good in your life, even as you strive to improve what you’re not as happy with. You may be surprised to learn that others are envying you from time to time.

Until later, enjoy life; be kind to those around you, and Happy Reading! Peace.