Every day, hour and minute we are presented with new opportunities. These diamonds, yet to be recognized for what they are, can be found everywhere. Like a person who never looks, up, down, or around, most of these jewels are never seen, and even if they are, never recognized for the treasures they are.
It’s been something of a buzz lately to point out the fact that we are so easily connected to one another these days through our designer digital devices that we’ve grown indifferent and jaded to just how easily we can connect. We point a finger at technology, a Me generation, millennials, whatever, and blame them for our lack of meaningful personal connection. We treat this “phenomenon” as if it were something new. It’s not, and this isn’t the first generation to discover an epidemic of indifference towards our fellow human beings. We all strive to be heard and seen in a world of distraction and insensitivity. We’re just getting larger doses through a more efficient delivery system. If that sounds somewhat like a drug reference, well, then you’re getting my gist here.
The drug is called marketing and it has jaded us into paying attention only to the noisiest, flashiest, most over the top, shockingly absurd personalities or situations. If it doesn’t explode visually, audibly, physically or emotionally it usually doesn’t get much attention these days. Anything with the word “reality” stuck in front of it garners far more attention than what our own reality actually is. The true reality is that the marketing we are being fed non-stop needs to be tempered with some serious soul searching and skepticism.
Marketing, like any drug, is used as a vehicle of escape. That’s its true intent. Marketing can help people escape to a world of better possibilities or to a place of debt. That debt by the way isn’t always financial. There’s physical, mental, social and even spiritual debt. Marketing is an escape from reality.
Many people are hell bent on escaping from their own, into some other person’s reality. Despite the rallying cry of “individuality for all”, most people are anything but individualistic in their thinking and their actions. I liken this to a mob of little kids in a cake shop, sticking their fingers and faces into every delightful mess of sugar they see, never finishing one before moving on to the next one that promises to taste better than the last. Eventually all those little kids end up over indulging to the point of getting sick.
This is the symptom I see over and again with people who’ve chosen not to stop gorging themselves long enough to look up, down or around and realize that there is a much more important world that awaits their attention. Sugar highs don’t last. Drug highs don’t last. Marketing highs certainly aren’t meant to last. It’s time to go cold turkey and realize that the true high isn’t found in the artificial flavor of a world gone mad with extremism in any form or direction. The highest you’ll ever get is the moment you realize that your well being depends upon the responsibility you have to yourself and your fellow human being.
Those opportunity diamonds I wrote about earlier are the people we come in contact with every day. The real ones. The ones who’s actions touch us and who we touch with our actions. Family, friends, co-workers, the person we pass on the street every day, yet avert our eyes from because, “It might be uncomfortable to acknowledge them in some way. I don’t know them. I might not like them. They might not like me. OMG!”
You never know just who someone is until you get to know them. Marketing has been very good at making us fearful of any brand other than the ones we are told we should feel comfortable with. Each of us is a brand in our own right. Our actions and inaction advertise our brand, the one we market. What does your personal brand say about you?
Few responsibilities are as great as being accountable for your own thoughts and actions. Taking personal responsibility for the mental, physical, social and spiritual areas of your life determines who you are today and who you become tomorrow. This is your brand and your reality as you have chosen it to be.
Consider how the world would change if everyone on our planet decided to accept responsibility for their own thoughts and actions, and in so doing, began helping others discover how they too can become responsible for themselves. The true secret to our success is found in the shining gems we discover as we help others succeed. But you need to look up, down and around to find them first.