A Walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood and Highland area of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, CA is supposed to be the center of a revitalization project for a rundown part of town. Last week, however, panhandlers stabbed and killed a woman on the Walk of Fame over a money dispute.
A few years ago, I was at the Walk of Fame and the Highland shopping center. I didn’t go because I wanted to go. Growing up in Southern California, I knew the area was not worth a visit. But, my daughter wanted to see the Walk of Fame. I tried to tell her that the area was a was not worth seeing, but she had it in her head that the Walk of Fame was something she had to see. She was convinced the Walk of Fame would highlight just how great it was to be famous. She thought it would be a spectacular memorial to the greatness of actors, actresses, and musicians.
She could not understand that most of the Walk of Fame is a dingy, disgusting, and sometimes dangerous street with a few golden stars stuck on the sidewalk. Once there, she held my hand the whole time and I could tell she was anxious. And realistically, it wasn’t the safest place to bring a nine year old.
Needless to say, she was disappointed.
I’ve often thought about that walk we took together. I’ve thought about the things we believe are important. Money and fame are a lot like the Walk of Fame; they are always better in our minds than in reality. In reality, the pursuit of money and fame is a dangerous road. Yet, in our minds, we are convinced they are important and worth pursuing. Any time I make this life about exalting myself or accumulating for myself I have made a mistake. Actor Jim Carrey once said, “I wish everyone could get rich and famous and everything they ever dreamed of so they could see that’s not the answer.”

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