I went to Starbucks the other day (okay, I go every day…I’m an addict, so sue me), and overheard a conversation between a woman and a man. As a writer, this is what I do. Eavesdrop, but only with the best of intentions. Listening to other peoples’ conversations is how you learn about tone, and body language, and emotional conflict so your dialogue is as realistic as it can be on the page. It also gives you insight into how people think. And what they worry about.
Anyway, this man and this woman were discussing a little league baseball game they were attending this weekend. And they started talking about the other parents there, and one couple in particular. About the new car they had. The big house they had. The vacations these people took. Blah blah blah. And I started thinking… this kind of stuff is all around us, each and every day. We are bombarded with messages about what we need (that we don’t), what we should have (that isn’t necessary) and how our looks, life, or any other fill-in-the-blank isn’t as good as someone else’s. You see it on magazine racks (can anyone say Kardashian?) and on television and in the movies.
It’s freaking everywhere.
So I got to thinking. Can we ever truly be happy when we’re constantly bombarded with reminders of what we’re not or what we haven’t got?
Not to knock the media or anything, but they’re not helping. Watch any television program and tell me what you see. Does anyone look real anymore? Does anyone act real anymore? Those people are out there, but they seem to be a dying breed. At least when it comes to what we’re exposed to, and it’s become noise. It also, unfortunately, sends a subconscious message to each of us that something about us should be changed because we’re not one of the “beautiful people”.
So how do we find our way back to ourselves? To who we really are? It’s fun to watch television or movies, or to read a tabloid or magazine, but who is it really helping? Not us, that’s for sure. Some folks abandon the media altogether when they feel overloaded or overwhelmed by it all. In my case, I focus more intently on meditation to clear my mind. It’s a balance, and not always an easy one to find, especially when social media puts so much of this at your fingertips in seconds flat.
What do you think? Can we ever truly be happy despite all the noise that’s preying on the insecurities of the average person? Which, in case you haven’t noticed, 99% of us are. Average, that is.
I’d love to know.
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