Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy, Humble, Famous or Rich.

I'm a bit of an Uncle Kracker fan, and think that, from beginning to end, his disc, "No Stranger To Shame," is a pretty good overall musical effort. Maybe a couple hiccups here and there, but fun music with a unique sound, and an occasional message thrown in.

At the end of the disc, he's got a hidden track called, "After School Special," a rap about how he grew up as a dumb school kid and followed his dream, transforming into a millionaire recording artist.

About halfway through the song, there's a verse in which the Voice of Wisdom is talking to Uncle Kracker, describing what his life became when he started getting some money and fame, and the choices he had to make. Every time I hear these lyrics, they make me stop and think:

How many times must I give you your options?
Happy...Humble...Famous...or Rich.
You only get two and only you can pick!

Not the easiest selection to make, is it?...if you only get two.

The two that I imagine most people would be drawn to first would be Happy and Rich. Everyone wants to be Happy, and hey, Rich is always cool, too, right? Many people couldn't care less about Fame, but then there's that other one...Humble. If you're Happy and Rich, then according to those lyrics, you'll be lacking in Humility. Which I can only assume would mean that the people around you would think of you as an arrogant asshole. Not that you would care, because you'd have your Happiness, right? But since you're not Famous, the people you surround yourself with most often would be family and close friends. And do you really want them having that opinion of you?

Let's try to pick two more: the ever-popular cliché, Rich and Famous. Robin Leach made a living showcasing their lifestyles. But as two shining examples, I give you...Britney Spears. And Michael Vick. They're both Rich and Famous. But are either of them Happy lately? Or Humble? (how 'bout stooopid? or crazy?)

I would very quickly dismiss Rich and Famous. I've gotta work some Happy in there somehow. Which means my options have been diminished greatly. I'm left with Happy and Humble, Happy and Famous, or Happy and Rich.

I don't want to be Famous. I don't think I'd handle it well. And it matters to me what family and friends think of me. So I guess I need a dose of Humble to counteract any assholeness that may occur. My options have apparently been set...Happy, and Humble. One thing I sort of assume as a given is that if you're Happy, you're not faced with too many financial worries and struggles. So while you may not be Rich, you're probably doing pretty well. And that's good enough for me.

Who's got some other combination of two of the four that you'd choose? And what led you to make your decision on those two? Share some different perspectives.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have to Humbly drive to the corner convenience store and buy a Powerball ticket. Because winning $245 million on Wednesday night would make me, umm...Happy.

"Sometimes I feel like somethin' is gone here,
somethin' is wrong here, I don't belong here.
Sometimes I feel like a stranger in town,
and I've lost what I've found.
It'll all turn around."
—Uncle Kracker, "In A Little While"


  1. Cliched or not - happy and rich. Humility is something you can learn. And fame... well, I wouldn't mind it. But I'd want the fame just so I could get rich. Even if I get famous for doing something stupid, someone can make a book or a movie out of it. I'll take my 15 minutes and the $2,000,000 and run.

  2. Once again, I enjoy the content of the email, but the quote is what sticks - and I've heard that song umpteen million times.

    I guess certain things have to be isolated and brought to your attention before you see their point.

  3. Just grant me humility, if at all possible. Happiness will naturally follow from that.

    If rich and famous happen to come along accidentally, it certainly won't be by my doing.