Lessons From A Hollywood Square - A Prayer For Paul Lynde

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The late Paul Lynde. One of the most lovable, original, and charismatic comedians of all time and after a life of successes and failures, he passed away at the start of a new life, a healthy fresh start cut short. Born to a sheriff ( later a butcher ), his wife, and their three other boys, Paul always felt inferior as a son. Yet remarkably so, due to the fact that he was well loved by his friends and family for his humorous and witty disposition. It wasn't long before Paul struggled with obesity, a struggle which stayed with him the rest of his life.

Upon finding inspiration in a speech teacher, he enrolled at Northwestern University and with the financial help of his father, debuted his comical talent and creative interpretation skills in his beginning drama course. It was there in the spotlight, in front of his friends, classmates, and teachers, that he confirmed his talent for making any role a riot, in his own "snarky" and personal manner - a manner with which he approached all roles and one of the reasons why he never became any more than a beloved theater and television persona. Yet, his beloved personality was not always as consistent as his double entendre jokes on Hollywood Squares.In the midst of his fame on the show and after several hit appearances on various television shows, Lynde became an uncontrolled, violent, and hostile alcoholic. It was then that only a few of his true friends stood by him, among them producers William Asher Jr. and his bewitching wife, Elizabeth Montgomery.

My point is I hope he's in heaven, but I know he's more than likely not and I feel the same way about dozens of other famous men and women in history, from artists to comedians to great leaders and strategists.So after watching his biography on A&E, I drew the same conclusion as the blockbuster-movie-announcing narrator: despite his fame, glamour and wealth, Lynde never found happiness until he changed his life for the better, but it was a short-lived start. Sure, he professed to feel better than he ever had to his old chum, Dick Van Dyke, but he was speaking strictly in physical terms - and who isn't going to feel more alert and energized after sobering after a decade or more of inebriation?

I don't mean to judge a man who is long gone and disrespect his memory, but the homosexual actor who never married, who once had had a girlfriend with whom his feelings were not exactly reciprocated, seemed to have given in, to have ran away from his problems and let life control him instead of the other way around. As Galileo Galili once said, "I have never met a man so ignorant that I could not learn something from him" and as May Sarton once said, "One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being." In other words, I think, no, I know life is difficult, but giving in to addictions and material greed and desires will never satisfy you; the result is you'll always want more or simply end up unsatisfied. Instead, and I'm no choir girl or amen record, but I've found that with God alone you end up satisfied and when you get more than you need, you see it as blessing of abundance, whether it be a physical or spiritual blessing.

After all, humans beings are all about securing their genes and futures and life's work, but only in God, are we really in eternal and better hands than with anything in this world - yes, including State Farm's insurance. So I don't know what you take from this, but what I took from Paul Lynde's life story was a tragic lesson in the end result of letting events control you and being to weak to solve your internal and initial problems and by not solving them, creating new and physical problems - not to mention fixating on all your flaws (in which Paul's case I don't even see as valid) and so I end with the following borrowed thoughts:

"When things go bad, don't go with them" - Elvis Presley

"You are what you think about all day long." – Dr. Robert Schuller





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