I once worked for a power generation museum that educated school groups on how electricity was made and transported to our homes. One of the team working there was quite keen on educating students about the long term effects of burning fossil-fuels, and he used to regularly tell groups, “Every time you turn on a light switch, a little fish like Nemo DIES!” (Finding Nemo was a pretty big deal back then).
This was all good and well for a long time, until one day he said this to a group of students who were maybe a bit to young to cope with his poetic description of everyday pollution. A gasp went throughout the room, some tears were shed, they asked if they could turn off the lights in the museum and, needless to say, they were more than a little traumatised.
Exaggerating is fun, and enhancing stories with near-facts is a raw and creative poetic licence for our often routine lives. But in a world where so many causes compete for our attention (global warming, morality, human issues, marketing, relationships, Facebook) it seems that everything is blown out of proportion. My life is so larger than life, that it no longer all fits in: it’s bursting at the seems.
The world will end in 2012! If you eat your crusts your hair will turn curly! Your Ipad is ‘Magical’! Nine out of Ten Nutritionists recommend…! Certain unspeakable acts will make you go blind! If you litter a Kitten will get axed! All of these extreme messages, all of the time.
And do we believe it all? Or do we come to expect that things are less satisfactory than they present. After all, marketing must be based on convincing people that their experience of a product will be completely satisfying, life-alteringly so! And to convince you that those needs are actually met after you do purchase the product, they reduce your expectation of what a satisfying, life-altering experience is.
So here’s my thought, let’s start to talk about the world more accurately. Not the worst, not the best. Just is. And then let’s raise our expectations of what satisfactory is. We’ll strive for more and love even harder and ironically, I think we’ll be more satisfied. Thanks for reading, I love your comments!