By their Works ...

"By their works shall they be known": I seem to recall reading this long ago, probably in the Bible. It should still be true, shouldn't it? Surely Westminster Abbey is more important to all of us than its designer or its builder? I say that advisedly, for my antecedent, one Abbot Islip, was one or the other of those - probably both, having been buddy buddy with Henry V111. Ditto Guernica more important than Picasso, Hamlet than Shakespeare, The Theory Of Relativity than Einstein, the Harry Potter novels than …

But not so, these days. For this is the age of celebrity and you know them mostly for who they are - or rather, what they look like / seem to be / have gathered unto themselves - rather than for what they have achieved in the interests of succeeding generations.

This is not to deny, nor to decry the longing for celebrity status that is so familiar to all. You can buy books on how to become a celebrity and Mister Warhol counselled everyone to ready themselves for their (our) very own 'fifteen minutes of fame'. Wonderful. After all, something has to fill the TV screens daily / nightly.

By their Works shall they be known. Clearly we cannot all be famed for what we do. Therefore can the Bible, can Andy Warhol be right? I think so. The vast majority of us can be known for that most amazing of all possible creative Works, which is the procreation of the child for whom we, their parent, will always be a celebrity.

Christmas is a good time of the year to remember that. And listen; if we cannot change the world, our children might.

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