People are watching…
In this day and age, that phrase kind of gives you the creeps, doesn’t it? It’s true, though. I mean, there are cameras everywhere! At special events–birthdays, graduations, weddings–or mundane places–traffic lights, parking lots, bathrooms (selfie anyone?) Let’s face it. This is the generation of visual documentation–of everything! Whether still or moving, life is being captured in pictures and they are worth thousands–of words and dollars–because people are watching. We want to see what other people are doing.
But I’m not here to unpack our need to watch. I’m here to turn the lens, back on us. If we are being watched all the time, my question is what image do we portray? What legacy will we leave? What will be documented by all of the snaps and selfies? If we lay them out before us, what story will they tell?
Maybe we should be organizing our actions the way we organize our term papers–around a central theme or idea–then work towards supporting that theme or idea in every activity and every endeavor so that our story holds together. Then, if people are watching, they may see a comedy or a tragedy. Will they be inspired or disappointed?
If you’re like me, you’d probably like to shun the audience and be left alone with your tragic story, but the reality is, there’s always an audience. Somebody is always watching–kids, spouse, co-workers, friends, enemies, acquaintances, strangers. You can’t avoid being watched by someone!
I know that sounds creepy, but if it’s inevitable, why not give a good show? No, don’t start peeling out of your shirt, I mean give a good show. Leave a legacy of good. If we can’t dive into our holes and keep to ourselves, then whoever is watching us has the potential to be influenced by us. So, what kind of influence do we want to have on our audience? Do we want to inspire them or depress them? Not that our job is to entertain them, but if they’re watching, we should at least consider that something we say or do will not just affect us, it will also affect them in some way. It may leave an impression, spark an idea–or squash a dream.
Ironically, my selfie could influence someone else’s self. It’s a crazy thought, but because people are watching, it’s true. So, before you post a pic, or spout a harsh word, think about who’s watching and give ’em a good show, will ya? It could make a world of difference!