Why do we demand unhappiness in the life of the famed?

Ever since I saw “Joseph Cambell and the The Power of Myth,” I have been wondering why it is that we, the common public, literally demand that people like today’s scientists, actors, etc. should go through a deep sorrowful state.

Every discussion about the person ends with discussion of how she/he faced problems, etc. We never hear someone saying: “Well, scientist XYZ got the best education and he had a very happy personal and professional life and by the way, he also made this very important contribution to science.”

This especially true of the stars – the famous people.

Do we understand that we all have our shares of ups and downs and so it is impossible to find someone without any downs? Glamor is highlighted and published, and so we concentrate on finding the sorrows; the personal life – much like the search for Charles Foster Kane’s Rosebud.

Do we, as humans, have a tendency to believe that given perfect conditions, achieving greatness is not great in itself?

Do we believe that “ups” cannot exist if there are no “downs?”

Along with the above, we are in the constant search for heroes everywhere, and mythology has influenced our thinking. Somewhere inside us (even if we haven’t studied Campbell), we have an idea of what is expected of a hero. So, if we have to believe that someone is famous (or a hero), we search for the sorrow in his/her life.

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