During the years I have watched American Idol, my favorite part was watching rave reviews cascade upon the contestants who would subsequently run with a ticket to Hollywood in hand to the ecstatic embraces of friends and family. On the other hand, I would cringe uncomfortably when criticism or negative feedback was handed to participants who acted hurt and bewildered as their dream of becoming the new American Idol fell short. While watching the season opener, Jim and I noticed a shift.
The footage shared was largely of those goose bump moments when divinely inspired voices emanated from countless uniquely embodied vocal chords, to glowing encouragement from the judging panel. (Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban.) It was a celebration of talent and possibility, of opportunity, and the reward that comes from believing in oneself. Could this be a pop culture sign that a greater shift, a generosity of consciousness is occurring?
It brought to mind Brene Brown, the heralded TED talk speaker, successful author and Oprah favorite, who fiercely and intelligently articulates life-altering inspiration in terms most people can understand and relate to. “Dare Greatly,” she says, and enough so to “enter the arena.”
Her words fly in the face of those who hide behind their computer keyboards with critical and sometimes anonymous comments left on the internet or social media. For those who smugly shoot daggers with the stroke of a key, it might be wise to experience the vulnerability and strength it takes to try; to walk into whatever arena may call their name and give it their all.
These days, it is often a tale of two cities. One realm of society is ever embracing more spiritual teaching and practices, such as yoga and meditation and a mindset that promotes love, acceptance, generosity and the manifesting of dreams. Business, both large and small practice giving back, and I am proud to say that Much More Than Me has done that since the beginning. The other faction of society is cowardly and uses the higher profile venues our current world provides to spread negativity and judgment. I once read a phrase in a Kabbalah book that said: “if your neighbor breaks his leg, it doesn’t mean you will run faster.” I love that. Encouraging others never takes anything away from you.
The world is vast yet smaller than ever in our connectedness and accessibility to one another. This is showing up with such love and celebration for some, and with such unfortunate consequence for others. In my opinion, it is a tipping point.
I say kudos to all who are daring greatly in their lives whether in the raising of their families, the pursuit of a long-held dream, in experiencing a new peace in their beings, or whatever way makes sense for them. And also, to those who give back however they can. It may be just me hope, but my heart says kindness, love, gratitude and generosity will continue to cast a shadow on that which does not lift us up.