I sat in a café some 3000 metres above the sea on top of the Swiss Alps doing some of my mathematics studies during the World Economic Forum in Davos when a group of men walked in and almost immediately people were rushing to take selfies with one of them – applauding him and shaking his hand. At about 6 foot 6” (2m) tall and a big build I guessed he was some sort of athlete but could not put a name or sport to the face. After the group left the café the waiter informed me that he was one of the most famous boxers in the world, from Russia.
This left me wondering… all the celebrations, congratulations and well-wishes – what are they actually for?
For the record, if two men, or women, both want to get in a ring and punch each other in the heads, then by all means that is up to them… their bodies, their lives.
The point here is more about the interest and devotion that this sort of activity garners. And so the questions that come to me are:
- How are we at a place where millions of people use pay-per-view to watch from home and many more spend the equivalent of thousands of dollars to travel to and attend such an event?
- Where have we really come to as a society if, apart from perhaps the consent of both parties, things have not changed since the times of the Colosseum?
A fascinating part in all this is that if we show someone a video of a man being horribly and brutally beaten, it will in most cases receive gasps and looks of disgust. But then if you were to explain that the person had consented, it all becomes okay – yes? Where does this incoherence stop? If it is okay to commit an act of violence with consent, are we then able to commit murder with consent? If that’s too much to stomach, are we then able to perform random unregulated amputations with consent? Would this too attract a large crowd and vast sums of money? Who does and how does one draw the line of distinction between what is acceptable under the guise of consent and what is not?
With all the issues going on in the world at the moment – wars, corruption, poverty, cancer, mental illnesses, suicide, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking all the way down to lack of self-worth, lack of confidence and body issues to name but a few – SURELY there are ways of spending our time, energy and money that benefit us rather than punching us in the face, literally speaking.
I count myself blessed to know what I consider celebrities to be: real people doing real jobs in such a way that is worthy of celebration – and then some!
Serge Benhayon and his family have become a massive part of my life, from the most inspiring chats over dinner to workshops and presentations that not only give me the opportunity and support to bring out the best in me, but at the same time show me how humanity has gotten into this particular point on its derailed trajectory. The Benhayon family, the most ordinary extraordinary group of people, have shown me what deep down I have always known – that there is a way to live life without letting life live you. In other words, we can be in life empowered through our wise and loving choices without being what life wants us to be.
This to me is something that not only I have not seen anywhere else, but in fact the opposite has been cemented; the idea that without (especially tertiary) education you cannot be successful; the concept that marriage is a ‘compulsory’ part of a ‘complete’ life (you only have to look at the divorce rates to see the falsity of this one); the belief that what we make of ourselves career-wise is who we are, and by that token if we are a cleaner or serving in McDonalds then we are not worthy contributors to the all as much as perhaps the Rolls-Royce riding rich are.
So, when I go to celebrate someone, my first question is: what are they contributing to society? Are they accelerating our evolution or are they delaying it? A good space to ask ourselves another question here – what is evolutionary about punching another in the head to the point that their facial features get distorted, permanently damaged and or they even become comatose? Which part of this disturbing factual scenario is entertaining? Our money’s worth?
If the external is glamorised and made to be everything, then I would suggest that this perpetuates the current plague of self-doubt, lack of self-worth and self-abuse we are all witnessing in large doses in society at the moment. Not something I personally care to celebrate.
If it is that we are already everything, already amazing, beautiful and awe-inspiring before we even take a step to do something, if it is that we are so much greater as a society than the way we are choosing to live, if it is that there is absolute GOLD just waiting to be unlocked in each and every person that walks this planet – surely, living THAT is what we should be investing in and celebrating.
And that is what I continue to celebrate, for as a very caring young man, to see us all gently rise out of the predicament we have taken ourselves into would make my heart sing.
True celebrities are men and women who dedicate their lives to know themselves through their innate love, wisdom and light, not through fame, recognition or glamour.
By Michael Brown, Maths Student and Manager in Retail