On February 25th, actor Andrew Koenig hung himself. On the surface, he had everything going for him. He was a child star and regular on the TV sitcom Growing Pains. His father was Walter Koenig who played Chekov in Star Trek, which gave him an easy entry into an acting career. He never knew what it was like to struggle to become an actor, much less to earn a living.
To most of us, we have to work to better ourselves and with each accomplishment, our sense of self-worth increases. Each failure gives us the opportunity to work harder or try something else. But it is a struggle. Dealing with the tedium and drudgery of a regular job is tough.
Most of us would give anything to walk in Andrew Koenig’s shoes. To be born into wealth would be a dream. How nice it would be not to have to worry about earning a living. We could dedicate our days to hobbies and just have a good ol’ time every day. It would be a permanent vacation.
In an old Twilight Zone episode, the main character was a heavy gambler, pool hustler, drinker, womanizer… He is killed and finds himself in what he initially believes to be heaven. He wins all his bets, his pool games, and gets away with all his nefarious activities. Winning all the time takes away the thrill of facing danger, though, which takes away the excitement and makes it boring. It turns out, he had not gone to heaven but to a highly personalized hell. Winning means nothing if there’s no chance of losing.
It could be, with people like Andrew Koenig, who was born wealthy and had everything handed to him, they face their own personal hell by not having to struggle to achieve anything. In life, everything is relative.