I’ve been thinking about private people and their public personae. Last week, I was in line at the supermarket checkout with VA Tech football coach Frank Beamer. Despite his iconic status, he looked very much like a humble, sweet man shopping with his beloved wife. I could see that he knew I’d recognized him and probably was hoping I would not try to engage him in conversation, just wanting to be a private guy. I left him alone, of course. Though to be honest, it wasn’t much of a character triumph. Football isn’t my thing. If he had been Bono, I would have abandoned all self-restraint.
If you’re a person who makes his or her living in the public arena at any level: actor, sports coach, musician, author, minister, whatever… you’re not “on” all the time. Sometimes you’re in resting mode. If you believe in what you are doing, you owe it to that thing that’s coming through you to develop the the confidence and willingness to promote it. But you can’t be impressed with your “specialness.”
And it’s good for all of us who are consumers of the work of entertainers, athletes, teachers, writers, and spiritual performance artists to remember that we are as others. We are all on a conveyer belt to enlightenment. We are no better or more important than a pauper and no less so than a star. May we remember that we are Beamers of that light that shines within us all. <3