‘Familiarity breeds contempt’
Saudi colleague Fahad Al-Ahmadi, who writes for the Al-Riyadh newspaper, had a funny experience about what he had written.
The subject is related to the fact that a famous man – whether he is an artist, writer or singer– is usually seen from a different angle by his fans unlike his family and friends.
His picture depicted in the first category may be perfect and exquisite, while the second set of people see him in the reverse or just as a normal person. He says the way the closest people to us know us, as celebrities, allows them to criticize us or even to underestimate our opinions, ideas and achievements, so the subconscious works in his opinion! The recognition of brother, for example, superiority of his brother automatically means his failure… and so on.
It is said ‘A prophet has no honor in his own country’, historians and inventors show us that many of them succeeded outside their environment or their origin.
He said keeping a distance from a relative who is increasingly popular, increases directly continuation of his excellence. The higher his level, the more his neglect, and the farther away from us the better we appreciate and depict a beautiful picture of him! This phenomenon is observed even among members of the same family.
The only thing the colleague did not mention is that this phenomenon is natural, which happens in all societies and may be likened to the monuments or exhibitions and museums, which millions visit every year in a country, but we find out that people of the country detest it. It is not because they are less cultural but they regard it as their property – museums and monuments that have always been part of them – and therefore behave, often unconsciously, as though they are normal places, and can visit them on any given day.
Another thing worth mentioning is that we strive to identify the famous characters, artists or writers, but as soon as we meet and recognize them so closely our opinion changes. This is what happened to me personally. At the beginning of my passion, I was fond of the writings of some ‘opinion-makers’.
But when I got to know some of them personally, I was shocked by what I found – the gap between what they were claiming or writing about, and their true personalities and family life. They diminished from my viewpoint and I regretted knowing them closely, so that prevented me from reading what they wrote.
But when I sought to meet celebrities in other fields, I did not change my perception of their achievements and creativeness, in spite of what I found in their strange characters incomprehensible and even dishonest, which led me to cut off my relationship with them, but my admiration for their work continued unceasingly.
The life of an artist, actor or singer often has nothing to do with his art, but this does not apply to an opinion writer.
The reader expects an action from him that conforms or at least close to what he preaches, not the opposite!
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf