In the last week I have watched the ALS ice bucket challenge gain strength and have been fascinated by how the world has responded to it. I am no anthropologist, but I love human behavior so have been observing with much interest. Everyone seems to have an opinion about it, you either love it and embrace it, hate it and try and deflect or control it or are ambivalent. What I see with my “percepticals” (love this word I picked up from a recent article I read which means we all see things from our own perception) is that basic human need of being seen, heard and valued. For me my own inner dialogue around it went something like this: “wow isn't that awesome that my friend nominated me, he must really like me (okay I wavered back and forth on this one given that it was very cold outside!), of course I will do it, I have to, there are expectations of me and I don’t want to let anyone down. And of course we need to record it on video so that everyone can see that I did it AND I want to be part of something that is good and inspiring.” While my intentions were in the right place, I can see that in large part my response was based on my need to be seen, heard and valued. So what is the dialogue for the haters? Or the uninterested? I don’t know because I am not one of them, but my perception as a watcher would be that they also want to be seen, heard and valued they just have a different perspective. Because of their own “percepticals” they may want to shift attention to a different cause, have their own belief’s around charities, they may not want to openly share their opinion (this doesn't mean they don’t have one!) or feel that it is silly and childish. In any case what I find so interesting is all of the differing opinions which stem from the same source. I love opinions, I have them, I share them, I love to hear others, I love to debate but at the end of the day I hope everyone walks away having learned a little, maybe grown a little and ultimately felt seen, heard and valued.
What I learned from being an observer of this phenomenon; I am in awe of the expansive creativity that the human consciousness is capable of. I am inspired by the connection that it created in the global brain – the internet via social media. I am fascinated by the human need to try and control the outcome of something that is not theirs to control. I am encouraged by the large number of people who have spoken out either for or against as discussion is the only real path to growth and change.
Opinion on my friends!!
(If you are finding yourself getting defensive about others opinions or are trying too hard to convince someone that yours is right you may want to read my post “The need to be seen heard and valued” – April 2, 2014)