10 March 2010
Public smiles, private pains…
Today news broke about the death of actor Corey Haim. Only 38 years old, his life has been cut short. Initial reports said that his death might be related to a flu-like illness he’d recently been suffering from, but later breaking news seems to indicate that his death might be drug-related. Whatever the truth, 38 is waay too young to be dead, if you ask me.
For the record, I am not a big Corey Haim fan. Like every one growing up in the 80s, I remember him from movies like LUCAS and LOST BOYS (his two biggest films) and his exploits with his buddy and ever-present sidekick Corey Feldman. Almost interchangeable, the two friends even did a reality show (that I never had the “pleasure” of watching) called THE TWO COREYS. Reports of his drug use and partying lifestyle stripped him of reaching his full potential as an actor – and a person. In fact, when I first heard the report of his death, I stopped and thought, “I thought he was already dead.”
We live in a society where we glorify celebrity. Whether it is your favorite actor (Shemar, Denzel, Boris…I digress), or athletes or even the “stars” of those toxic reality shows that are so popular these days (really, Kate Gosselin or the “OctoMom”?)…if someone is on TV or in the movies, all of a sudden, their life is open fodder for review, speculation and gossip. All their private hurts, disappointments and failures become talking points over water coolers, in break rooms and even status posts on Facebook. Is it worth all the money, fame and accolades? I personally think not. It is difficult enough to live your life as a person without everyone in the world chiming in on how you are acting, how you have failed, whether you have low self-esteem or not (sidenote: can we just leave Mo’Nique alone? Geesh).
I didn’t know Corey Haim (obviously). Unlike him, I did not live my life in the public spotlight since age 10 (which is how old he was when he started doing commercials). I didn’t have hit movies to put on my resume, only to see work dry up and be called a “has been” before the age of 30. I have not squandered millions of dollars in income and royalties to die almost penniless with nothing to show for a lifetime of work. I haven’t turned to drugs as a way of escape. How sad that this is the commentary left behind on his life. I wish somewhere along the way, someone had pointed him to Jesus. Maybe the commentary would be different.
We are all going through something. We all, celeb or not, at times, mask deep private hurts with very wide public smiles. It is my prayer that when you are feeling overwhelmed and burdened, you have a Friend to turn to Who will see you through. While human friends are nice and can be ambassadors of God’s love in times of need, they are not always around when you need them. They, occasionally, have their phone ringers in the off position and their computers turned off. Or if your time of crisis is 3:00 in the morning, they might be asleep. I am learning to “go to the Rock” when the burdens of life get to be too much. Praise Jesus He “never sleeps, He never slumbers.” If you don’t know Him, get to know Him. He can turn those private hurts into true public smiles.
© 2010 Kristina E. Smith
10 March 2010