Super Bowl Sunday rolls around the bend once again and then I started to notice a peculiar thing taking place on my Facebook feed. A healthy dose of rivalry banter over status updates slowly started changing from overzealous football fans commenting on their predictions of the game to comments of “Rest in peace, Philip Seymour Hoffman”. The interesting thing here to recognize is that none of my friends have ever previously spoken about their love for this actor and are definitely not acquaintances with Philip or his family, and yet they now are plagued with sadness over his death.
It started with one or two people posting a link or two, breaking the exciting news to all their friends and then within twenty minutes I had read 30 different updates from newly acquired dear ‘fans’ that have now seem to have come out of the woodwork to express their feelings of “disbelief” at the great loss. I don’t want to take anything away from this guy’s strong presence in life and on the big screen, but the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman has no direct influence on the majority of our lives, so why do we now all a sudden need to invest our attention and dialogue towards his death?
The simple fact that it was breaking news on TMZ.com or the Huffington Post shouldn’t be good enough reason for the upheaval in emotional connection, but mass media works with forceful persuasion and the majority buy-in to the drama.
Do you now question these same expressive Facebook friends reason for engagement at the actors loss? Would the same caring attention be given to their local community members who have lost the battle with addiction and more closely impacted their lives on a personal level? We both know that the same care wouldn’t be passed forward at the loss of a ‘commoners’ life.
To think that this actors life holds more value than any of the other hundreds of people that will die today in drug or alcohol related deaths is absurd, but it is the reality that we now live in. Should we not look to Philip Seymour Hoffman as just another person who gets to temporarily walk this earth for a few years and then pass on to his next stage, just like everyone else?
Our experience here is temporary and we are all born with equal worth, yet we don’t hold this belief to be true in our typical actions. We chose to undervalue our own lives in comparison to the people who hold celebrity status and then reach forth in homage to their lives as if they were Gods among men. It’s no wonder we all live with such little power every day, we chose to give it all away!
Let this rant be a small reminder for you to take the time to acknowledge all the people around you each and every day that deserve your full attention and love. You never know, they may be gone tomorrow!