"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." - Emerson
A celebrity is a person, who has a prominent profile and commands some degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media. Who rises to this position of popularity is sometimes a bit baffling. We see people become famous for just about everything these days: the ability to act like a pirate on the big screen, or the skill to hit a curveball 400 feet, the capacity to stomach 69 hotdogs or the aptitude to say unimaginably unintelligent comments.
Once a celebrity finds his/her place in the paparazzi crosshairs, there are options of how to continue living…exactly two actually- at least how I see it. They can buy into and believe in their own celebrity, as if they truly are better than and above everyone else, and obnoxiously show up on too many publications and in too many TV segments for behavior that is more or less insane. Or, they can stay cool, calm and collected, understand the opportunity at hand and how they arrived to this point, and sometimes share the spotlight where light seldom shines (and no that does not include “wardrobe malfunctions”).
I can’t account for everything Phil X and Aaron Rodgers have done in their lives as being in my latter category of celebrity. And at times they may’ve been guilty of some category one offenses, but today they deepen my faith in human decency.
Phil X, who happens to be a friend of the Bohemians and the guitarist for Bon Jovi, brought many people to tears when the band played recently in Canada. It started with the passing of young Kara Shred, a 25 year old who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on Sept. 19th. Kara was an avid musician herself and through her creative and artistic abilities she crafted a custom guitar of her own: a “ semi-hollow electric guitar, with three star-shaped ports.” When she passed, her family decided to gift her beloved guitar creation to The Guitar World in order to allow others to play her instrument in a gesture to honor their daughter, Kara. When Phil X came across the story and saw the guitar, he had to play it. “I didn’t even tell Jon (Bon Jovi),” he says. “I didn’t tell anybody. For me it was more of a personal touch, something I wanted to do for the family.” Phil played the guitar on stage during the famous “Wanted: Dead or Alive” song which brought Kara’s family and friends in attendance to tears. A truly special moment and example of what one can do in a position of prominence—helping to shine a little light in dark times.
Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the Greenbay Packers, is known to play some guitar while he’s not on the field. In a new web series called, “It’s Aaron,” Rodgers surprises people who have been helped by various Wisconsin-based nonprofit organizations. In the latest episode, Rodgers comes across Kelly, a 13-year-old Packers fan, who suffers from spina bifida. Aaron laces up his guitar and the two record a couple songs together while sitting center stage at Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Theater. They sounded pretty good, too!
Again, an example of how to share the spotlight with others with the hopes of leaving them glowing and more radiant than before. Simple acts can have profound impacts. Aaron and Phil exemplify the power of celebrity kindness.
"The best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts, of kindness and love." -Wordsworth