It’s really easy for celebrities to forget how influential they can be. And when I speak of celebrities, I mean the big guns — internationally popular musicians, actors, athletes, etc. Basically, the people who have the check mark next to their names on Twitter.
There are so many ways to effect change. We all don’t need to be Jonas Salk and singlehandedly create a vaccine that eradicates a deadly disease.
When you have such a huge fan base, and when everything you say or do is under a giant microscope, sometimes simply attaching yourself to an important issue is just as important as actually solving it.
That’s why I have a ton of respect for what Macklemore is doing. The guy became a megastar only about a couple of years ago, and he wasted absolutely no time using his stardom for good, which, in his case, is promoting gender equality. It’s so easy for celebrities — particularly new celebrities — to get wrapped up in the life, and take advantage of their newfound fame for selfish reasons.
People care too much about celebrities in America. Magazines like People or US Weekly spend way too much time reporting on who Taylor Swift is dating, where Blake Lively ate brunch, or what nightclub Paris Hilton attended on a Saturday night.
I can see why it would be annoying for celebrities to have their every action reported in the media. But I think that what a lot of them forget, is that when they do good things, it’s going to be reported also. And that’s how they could help.
And that’s exactly what Seth Rogen did on Wednesday.
Rogen, the comedic actor known for his love of marijuana, appeared on Capitol Hill to address the Senate Committee on Appropriations about the lack of attention he believes our government pays towards those with Alzheimer’s disease. In his speech, which was both hilarious yet heartfelt, he talked about his wife’s mother, who developed severe Alzheimer’s before she even turned 60.
Here’s the entire speech. it’s about six minutes, and I highly recommend watching:
Rogen didn’t spout too many scientific facts, nor did he even offer any suggestions about what should be done to improve Alzheimer’s education in America. Instead, he shared his own personal story. And by doing so, suddenly the entire world is talking about Alzheimer’s disease.
That’s what people like Seth Rogen are capable of.
As somebody who writes for a living, I really appreciate Rogen’s speech. It’s obvious he’s a writer — which is also evidenced by his screenwriter career — because he had the perfect blend of humor and seriousness. And that’s what catches people’s attention.
Rogen has always come across as a down-to-earth, chill dude who is really easy to like. But now, I’m officially a fan forever. I can’t imagine how much courage it must take to sit in a congressional room and speak before some of the most powerful people in our country.
I personally would never do what he did because I wouldn’t consider myself smart enough to speak directly to people who have spent almost their entire lives in government. But maybe that’s what real courage is — not giving a shit about how others might perceive you and standing up for what you believe in.
The other lesson? Sometimes it’s the potheads who speak the real truth.