I hate to break it to you but chances are whatever fame you earn in your lifetime will probably last about four thousand years (give or take a few centuries).
Jean Shepherd, author (and narrator) of A Christmas Story said:
Can you imagine four thousand years passing and you're not even a
memory? Think about it, friends. It's not just a possibility. It is a
Makes you think.
As time goes on we might be able to glean a new historical figure we've yet to discover, but really, 4k is about right.
Most of us can probably claim 15 minutes of fame, some epic moment in our lives when the eyes of more than a few thousand people were upon us at once. It's even more likely now with the rise of You Tube.
I've had several 15 minute epochs. Maybe even enough to fill an hour. With any luck, I might have a few more before I'm dead and done.
Will it last four thousand years? Probably not. I doubt I'll even be a footnote in an electronic catalog. And who will care?
Seriously. How much do we care about Enmebaragesi of Kish, the earliest known ruler (verified by archeological records)? How about the sculptor, Praxiteles, circa 300 BC?
Praxiteles was probably a rock star in his day. Much like Genghis Khan, Amerigo Vespucci, and Mozart, mavericks and trail blazers.
It's only when historical figures get closer to our own timeline that we begin to create an emotional attachment to them. Reading about the death of Alexander the Great (my personal crush) does not move me one way or another. But reading about Steve Irwin's tragic death upset me greatly.
Steve Irwin was within my timeline. Alexander the Great might have been more famous, but Steve meant more to me as a person. Each person who knew him, remembering and speaking of him prolongs his fame.
So fear not if you find yourself NOT famous in the traditional sense. Most of us will get at least 15 minutes. Some of us might even get a little bit more. Just remember, nothing lasts.
You're famous only for as long as people remember you. You might be nothing more than a name written into a family bible, or a name on a book cover. But every person you've touched, physically, emotionally, or intellectually gives you one more chance at immortality--or 4000 years, whichever comes last.
Do you dream of fame? Fleeting or long term? I prefer the fleeting kind. The lifetime fame comes with too high a toll on privacy. I like the anonymity of a job well done, discovered only after a brief two-page Google search.
Just spell my name right and remember that I rescued stray dogs, a few friends, and one husband.