Persons Over Possessions
William Clark Gable (1901-1960) was an American film actor, nicknamed “The King of Hollywood” in his heyday. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Gable seventh among the greatest male stars of all time.
Despite his dyslexia, Gable became an avid reader.
Discouraged by his failure to progress in films, Gable tried the stage and became an employable actor, without acquiring real fame. When he returned to Hollywood in 1930 for another try at movie acting, his rugged good looks, powerful voice and charisma made him an overnight sensation as the villainous Rance Brett in his first sound picture, “The Painted Desert” (1931). Gable exploded onto the screen in a dozen 1931 releases, in small parts at first, but he was an established star by the end of the year.
It is told that a friend paid Gable a visit one afternoon at the actor’s home. She brought along her small son, who amused himself by playing with toy cars on the floor. He pretended he was racing those cars around a great track, which in reality was an imaginary circle around a golden statuette. The small statue the boy played with was actually the Oscar Clark Gable won for his performance in the 1934 movie “It Happened One Night”.
When his mother told him the time had come to leave, the little boy asked the actor, “Can I have this?” pointing to the Oscar. “Sure,” he smiled. “It’s yours.”
The horrified mother objected. “Put that back immediately!”
Giving the child the golden statue, Clark Gable said, “Having the Oscar around doesn’t mean anything to me; earning it does.”
‘The Shield’ or the ‘Cup’ are just symbols. Possessing them is not as important as to winning them. By his readiness to part with the ‘Oscar’ Clark Gable imparted a great lesson that the joy of the boy is more important that we should always put ‘persons before possession.’