Fame or Love?

I watched the movie Country Strong starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester on my flight from Chicago back to California. I had wanted to watch this movie when it was first released last year at the theater, but I never did get a chance to watch it so I’m happy it was free on my United flight. After generally being frustrated and annoyed by United in most instances, I have to say, “Yay United – score one point for the free flick!”

Anyway, the movie was actually kind of sad and dark; not what I was expecting at all. But, there was one main theme that ran throughout the movie that really resonated with me. One of the main characters posits that you can’t live with both fame and love. (“Love and fame can’t live in the same place.”)

Gwyneth’s character is a 6-time Grammy winning country singer and it is her fame that’s worn her down. Towards the end of the movie, she gives Leighton Meester’s character, an up and coming country star, these words of advice: “Don’t be afraid to fall in love. It’s the only thing that matters in life. Fall in love with as many things as possible.“ 

In this world where fame and fortune are often the driving motivations of people, I thought this was such a simple, yet wonderful message. Choose love. It’s not about the status or ego or pride. Love and be generous to others. It’s what’s worth living for.

Unfortunately, I know some people who let their pride and ego prevent them from love, or are motivated by their ego and status, that they just don’t love others. I’m not just talking about romantic relationships, but also love in friendships, or even working relationships. Ego can definitely get in the way.

So, although I never really realized it, I think the movie is right: fame and love cannot exist together. You either choose fame (fortune, status, ego) or love. Which do you choose?

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