I used to wonder this when I come across news of celebrity marriages in the papers – ‘Why is it that the rich and famous tend to marry the rich and famous?’ Is it the result of mutual seeking of compatibility in social status? Is it natural or contrived? How true is the love?
Then it struck me that it is rather difficult for the rich and famous to befriend the non-rich and non-famous, much more to marry them – in the sense that it is hard for them to tell if they are befriended for their wealth and fame or as themselves, despite their money and title. But this doesn’t mean the marriages of the rich and famous with each other will be faultless either. In fact, some marry each other to enhance their celebrity status.
While we imagine celebrities having their wealth and fame at stake when the marry, there are forgotten stakes in the opposite direction – true friendship and love might be lost or not found due to having excess wealth and fame. A case of being a ‘poor little rich guy or girl’. This is Samsara – even those who live like devas on Earth have much at stake.
Some Chinese emperors are supposed to have taken the guise of peasants, so as to wander the streets undetected, to better make out what the commoners think of their rule. Indeed, one’s power can deter the crowd from speaking their mind. What is real power than, if it cannot empower honesty, if it cannot gather truth? The common man will always have too much at stake to say too much.
But lest the high and mighty become complacent, they too have much at stake – the truths withheld by the commoners. This mighty-weak or emperor-commoner situation happens in many everyday situations too – such as in employer-employee or head-staff relationships. Real power is the ability to connect for a win-win situation; not the ability to talk down or manage by fear or favour.
Another ‘Look’ at the Emperor’s New ‘Clothes’