You may wonder what on earth I’m thinking combining these topics, and you’d be right to wonder. I’ve been troubled lately by the obsession over MORE.
I’m not going up against the collection of more stuff, but the desire for more followers, more attention, and more reactions we seek when we use social media (yes, I realize I’m guilty of that in writing this post). I am eternally grateful to social media because it is a way to connect with people, leads people to me and my business, and it allows me to live my purpose.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso
But there is this invisible social media task master that always pushes me to obtain more and more blog subscribers, Twitter followers, Facebook “likes.” I hate opening my Facebook weekly update report because I feel like I haven’t done enough. And, yet, I have more than enough business and people keep calling me for appointments so I need to learn how to tell this task master to stuff a sock in it.
Listening to NPR this morning I heard about the saga of NBC when they revamped their “Today” show last year, letting host Ann Curry go. It was all about advertising dollars. Apparently morning news programs are extremely competitive and the better your ratings, the more advertising dollars you receive. The reporter stated that the Ann Curry situation resulted in extremely poor PR for NBC, which is ironic since they were focused on increasing their ratings. Obsession with more. No wonder most of us don’t feel good enough.
There is a great Bible scripture from Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
I watched a documentary on PBS last night titled “Bitter Seeds.” It was about the struggles and tragedy experienced by farmers in India, many of whom cannot obtain bank loans and who must turn to money lenders (aka loan sharks in the states). One charged 7% per month and took the farmer’s only possession – his land – as collateral. The (cotton) seeds the farmers bought were genetically modified, and sold on the basis that the seeds would not succumb to bollworm and would produce more (operative word) robust crops.
But almost all of the farmers’ crops were infested with mealy bugs and, as such, did not yield nearly enough to pay back the money lenders and also have enough to allow the family to survive. The money lender came back for payment and almost took the farmer’s land. What would they have left? Instead, the money lender agreed to compound the interest on the loan until the next harvest. Many farmers in India cannot bear the shame of not being able to provide for their families…so they commit suicide. I became deeply saddened that I have so much while others have so little. I have so much not only because of my efforts – because these farmers work extremely hard – but because of other graces.
Obsession with more is the enemy of the grateful.
Here is the link to the YouTube video trailer for the documentary “Bitter Seeds,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZtKB_KuASc