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Our culture’s obsession with becoming rich and famous is really getting out of hand. That’s apparent from a recent story in Time magazine that reported on people who are paying to be chased around by paparazzi and given a copy of a fake fan magazine with their photo on the cover.

Can you believe it? Wannabes are paying for something that is, in fact, the greatest scourge of those who are really famous. Prices range from $249 for three paparazzi who hassle you for a half hour to $1,499 for six paparazzi who pursue you relentlessly for two hours while a “publicist” tells them to stop bothering you and a “bodyguard” protects you from them.

It may sound insane (may?), but it’s turning into a good business for several firms, one of which is expanding from Austin, TX to San Francisco and Los Angeles — where, if nothing else, it might turn out to be a stable source of income for real paparazzi now relying on catching stars unawares.

To restore — we hope — a little perspective on life, fame and issues of legacy, we offer you a little quiz that we call The Who Really Matters Assessment Tool.

The Who Really Matters Assessment Tool

To see for yourself what it means to be rich (in influence) and famous (known and remembered), take the following quiz. To help others see life in the same light, share the quiz with them.

Who matters most?

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. How about five?
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How are you doing? Don’t get discouraged. You may find the next ones easier to answer:

7. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
8. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
9. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
10 Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
11. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

A reflection: When it comes to having an impact and lasing influence on people, obviously it’s not about position, money or fame. Applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Titles slip away. Even the paparazzi disappear — unless you pay them.

Lasting influence comes from caring about people and acting consistently with our values. That’s something we all can do without regard to the title on our door or the money in our pocket.

Copyright © 2008 Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute, 208 E. North St., Durand, IL 61024. Any part of this newsletter may be reproduced so long as there is full attribution, our web site is listed, and any electronic reproduction includes a link to our site: http://www.yeshualeader.com.

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