Golden Rule Goes for Celebrity, Too

July 28, 2008 at 2:27 PM (Musings) ()

A few days ago, a friend and I were discussing a quote of the day, courtesy of iGoogle: “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person” (Dave Barry).  We both agreed, acknowledging that all people, regardless of social, cultural or economic status deserve the same basic respect.  Whether or not a person can help you with your own goals is immaterial.  First of all, people should not be considered tools for the success of anyone else.  Second of all, you never know when your rudeness will finally push the waiter to spit on your steak.  Oh, and he’s recovering from Mono (not likely, but let’s pretend for the sake of argument).

This weekend, a celebrity coach was in town for a local benefit, and afterwards, he and his student came to hang out with a few of us at one of our watering holes.  Both of them turned out to be really fun people, and it was great to be socialising with them, but as far as I was concerned, it didn’t really matter if this guy was a world champion or one of the many, many strangers that my coach has been known to befriend on the spot.  When engaged in conversation, I of course reciprocated, but I tried to be conscious about keeping this guy off a pedestal.  He was one of maybe 15 people at our cluster of tables, and I got along with just about everyone.  Why would he deserve any more of my attention than the person sitting next to me?  If nothing else, I was a total stranger to him.  I’m an amateur dancer, barely established in my own geographic area.  I’m lucky enough to perform with an outstanding team of people, but people will recognise the team long before they recognise me.  If we were to play the politics game, this professional does not so much as owe me the time of day.  I doubt he even remembers my name.

That evening wasn’t about politics, though.  We had all done our shows at the benefit; it was time to eat, drink, be merry, and dread 11.00AM practise the next day.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy wasn’t even thinking about the politics game.  He was having a great time, chatting with everyone sitting around him: professionals, amateurs, men, women, whatever.  My ears bled a little when someone in the group fawned over him shamelessly every eight seconds or so.  My dear, you are nothing to this man.  Your empty flattery will not earn you any points with him, or anyone who is even slightly in touch with reality.  Can one only have a set quantity of respect that can be distributed until it runs out?  If that’s the case, then it’s a ridiculous one.  If you decide to focus all of your attention and respect on one person, that person won’t know or acknowledge, “Oh, this person is giving me ALL his attention, whereas this person’s only giving me 75% of her attention.  Clearly I’m going to respond to the former more favourably.”  That said, even if someone did address situations in that fashion, I doubt I’d want to waste any energy on him or her, anyway.

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