This special edition is addressed to high-profile stars ("celebrities") of film, TV and music.
A few years ago, I received a rather terse email from a popular actor (don't worry, man. Your name's still safe with me ...) who asked,
"I don't know you but read your FB entries on occasion, and noticed you are from Kentucky. What makes you think you're included in our celebrity circles? No personal offense, but Kentucky is hardly a haven for beautiful people."
Y'know, it made me laugh. "Celebrities"? You mean,"Beautiful people?" Let me tell you something:
If you think you're special or "beautiful" because you're seen every week on television or in the occasional movie -- perhaps perform gigantic venues for gazillions of dollars -- you have the wrong perception of the adjectives!
You want beautiful people? Think of the woman who works long hours at the Wal-Mart®, dead on her feet but still with a smile. She's got three children to feed and clothe on her own since her husband died.
Or the guy down the street who, once, had a home and family but lost it to a vicious drug habit. He's now trying to beat the addiction and clean up his act whilst looking for any job that will accept him.
How about the old, gray gentleman who's sitting in a hospital room, holding his wife's hand whilst she lies there, only hours from passing from cancer?
Brother, these are beautiful people ...
They don't have mounds of cash to fall back on. Instead of gracing a red carpet somewhere, their "premieres" are when they show up for work on-time ... or make it to their rehab session, one more day successfully clear of drugs or alcohol ... or back at a loved one's bedside, knowing they're one day closer to meeting his or her Maker ...
They come, not from L.A. or Tinseltown or wherever, but from towns like my scenic home of Pineville, NC, or the downhome simplicity of Ashland, Ky. ... and thousands of other locations around the country ... and the world (think Liverpoolin England or Melbourne in Australia).
They remember something else: Whatever their lot in life, they remember what brought them to this dance, and know that, once that "dance" is over, they'll be accepted and taken home by the same ones! Otherwise, it'll be a lonnnnng walk back ... and hitchin' a ride just doesn't work anymore.
Oh ... and those who brought them to the dance? Friends ... neighbors ... people they grew up with and know (and love) them for who they really are, and not some image on a screen or stage.
These, my star-studded friend, are the real celebrities ... the truly beautiful people. They don't need makeup, fancy clothes, limos, or paparazzi to show the world how good they are. People see their worth automatically, in the efforts they make to create a better world for themselves and those closest to them.
And, quite honestly, I'd trade a dozen "celebrities" for just one of these hard-working, caring, heartfelt "common people" anyday of the week!
So, before signing off, let me remind you of what an old friend of mine said many years ago. "Those famous people don't get it. They're born like everybody else -- ain't got nothin' on, cryin' and squawlin'. They eat, drink and (bathroom) like everybody else. They eventually gonna die like everybody else. And when that happens, they won't be no better than the ol' ditch-digger who's just a few plots down from 'em."
Stay tuned ...vv