The last couple of years have given me the opportunity to study everything. The internet is our pearl. That just means you have to dig around in a lot of oysters. Salty little gelatinous yuk balls if you ask me.
When did we decide that the little ball of hardened oyster spit was so valuable, it is now considered a luxury item?
When did we decide that eating a raw oyster was a sign of wealth or privilege? Did some King somewhere deem it so? Was there more to it?
Not a fan. But that’s the beauty of going on that adventure. You learn what you like, and what you don’t.
IF you can’t travel around the world, exploring this perfect planet we live on, then explore from where you are. LEARN about life before making up your mind that you already know everything there is to know. Not many of us want that for ourselves.
We are content to follow the crowd. To go with the flow of everyone else’s opinions rather than knowing our own is dangerous. It means we are open to understanding that we will never know everything. Not even close.
There was a scene in Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere where he asks her how she likes her eggs. She always settled for liking eggs the way the guy she was with did. If the dude liked poached, she liked poached. The same for runny, sunny or glazed in a cheese sauce.
She had no idea how she liked her own eggs because she always settled for making sure she pleased everyone else around her. All the while, everyone around her, including her friends and family, made fun of her for every aspect in her life.
No matter how kind, gracious or caring she was about all of them, every single one of them mocked, devalued or belittled her for being indecisive.
She was indecisive because she tried to please everyone else ALL the time.
You may or may not like the parts of you that are so subtle, you don’t even notice it. Every time you accomplish something, the people in your life criticize or laugh at it. When you achieve something, you want to celebrate, but they put you down.
Not everyone has a vast crowd to source.
Only a few people are up for accumulating thousands and millions of people following them.
The very notion of opening the flood gates of commenters on our social media, gives me the same level of anxiety as being forced to eat a plate of oysters.
Which make me gag. They are not for everyone.
Pearls are great and everything, but no thanks on the raw bar. Some people love them, and the followers. They dream of living that life. But that’s the point. Both points of view are important. As long as you know who you are, you are stronger for it.
Then again, think about this.
The pearl is just this irritating little piece of sand that the ill fated shell fish covers over with mucous until it’s no longer a burden on its living conditions.
Pearls start out as an irritating idea. An irritant to the oyster, but a rare and precious value to the collector of thoughts.
Diamonds start out as lumps of coal being crushed under immense weight of the earth. Or now, responsibly sourced in laboratories so not to burden the people in the land of blood diamonds.
What we find value in, is entirely made up.
Once upon a time, humans traded trinkets and sea shells as an exchange for goods.
We also share favors. Modern day barters trade in knowledge and endorsements of each other’s work. For better or worse.
You’d have to live under a rock to not see the favor business on social media. Turns out, a lot of them all have the same publicity agency. A lot like the Kardashians who trade synthetic authenticity for product promotion. None of it is real, and yet, hundreds of millions of people have been lured into believing it.
Talk about a marketing win! But that’s all it is.
Money buys power and power makes money.
Deciding for yourself if you’re going to buy in or not is valuable real estate in your head.
Teaching people how to be savvy, critical thinkers and emotionally intelligent is one of the most important trades today.
Look at all of the top level people who are selling the psychology pop-culture or motivational speaking books. They are exchanging support, gathering millions of followers, and trading in public friendships.
It’s no different than pearls, diamonds, sea shells or the fur trade.
They knew how to tap into the need of the public in order produce a very lucrative idea. One that started out pure enough. Money wasn’t the original time driver, but it’s certainly become the reward for collective thought drivers.
The economics of happiness is astounding. I’ve been in the well-being and happiness industry, on the sidelines, as one who chose a long time ago to just like the eggs that everyone else was liking as part of fitting in.
In academia however, you learn the most valuable lesson. One that is not needed in the explorers world. You get to a point where you learn how to think for yourself and you’re never afraid to say, “I don’t like eggs, or oysters, or pearls or diamonds”.
The economics are a tempting reason to stay loyal to the king, but … it’s not the only reason.
Don’t stay for the money. Stay for the purpose and meaning of your why.
Stay because you like your eggs your way. Many people are now getting into the wellness industry because they see how profitable it is. Does that influence the quality of meaning across our lifespan? Absolutely it does.
All they have to do is pretend to like all the oysters.
Even if they don’t.
The other part of the rise to power is to leverage the value of the allies, so that they will leverage you so that the community will eventually hold all the positions of power. And, all roads circle back to the king.
It’s an age old story as told in many many tales.
The Wolf of Wall Street. The Godfather. Trading Places. The Pursuit of Happiness. Legally Blond. Catch Me if You Can. It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s a long list …. you can google it … or read and watch as much as I do.
King Henry the 8th is a classic. They were all in awe of him while also realizing just how much damage could be done with one swift emotional “off with their heads” ~ which is also how Alice in Wonderland came about.
The Old Man and the Sea was the story of a single man with a single focus. He didn’t see the power of leveraging anyone else’s abilities in order to achieve his goal. He became obsessed with his own thoughts, and his own need to win the battle with himself.
Every social media influencer leans toward connecting with other influencers who make guest appearances on each other’s social media so that they can share an audience, which again, launches them into being the most valued.
It’s a simple formula that we follow in real jobs or lives too.
For people who live deeply present in the world, this formula for success seems so very unreal. They’d rather be in the back of the house in a 14th century bakery, learning how to bake bread from Nona whose family taught her 80 years prior how to simplify the process. She doesn’t have an electronic machine anywhere.
Not all people are so comfortable with the way the world works today, but if we choose that path toward being successful, we negotiate our metaphorical eggs. We simplify what we find to be miracles of life. The sweet simplicity of a single lone dandelion puff that stands long after fall began was both a metaphor and a message to some.
To others, it was a weed out of sync with nature.
See see only as far as we can imagine. We all become Robert’s character until one day, we run away from our own wedding, after our intuitive sense of self screams at us to uncouple from things not meant for us.
Humans are complicated and easy at the same time.
When was the last time you:
- quieted your mind
- gave up everything until you only had the very basics left
- stayed focused on only the one singular thought, which was, to know who you really were and what did you actually like or need
- create a space for yourself without anyone else’s interpretation of value or need so that you could learn about yourself, for yourself
Following the powerful path of someone else’s influence is a sure fire way to gain acceptance, influence and money. We do it in our communities, jobs, and societies expectations of us all the time.
Going it alone? The harder path, but one that some people are called to is the only choice.
Are you the old man and the sea? The king of all things with a need to be followed? Or, are you Robert’s, one who pleases everyone while having no-one of any particular substance until the right one comes along to be a genuine connection?
We are all archetypes of others who came before us.
For the longest time, I know that I felt compelled to like the eggs of everyone else in order for them to understand me. Until I finally realized that I don’t like eggs. I don’t like anything that is a gelatinous goo material unless it is solidified into something with more substance.
I also realized that like so many of you who are out there exploring the wonders of the world for your own benefit, I really like the peaceful solitude of a minimalist life, a quiet life, an explorers life. My dream house is an art studio in the middle of nowhere, so that all of the land is the something wonderful.
I prefer trees to people. You may need the people over trees. If you came over, don’t expect eggs. I don’t have any.
I have no need for pearls unless they are wisdom. I don’t want diamonds unless they can serve the greater good.
But that’s me.
You have to be authentically you in order to know exactly who you are.
If you follow the crowd, or even have a big crowd, that’s wonderful for you. If you created a career by navigating the slings and arrows of popularity, that’s amazing. I’m impressed.
I used to think that my preference for a quiet, simple life made me an outlier. I’ve since learned that instead, its just that others who live this life of simplicity aren’t talking about it. But, they are there.
Quietly living a life that the masses do not understand.
If you are a human who wishes to be alone with the world, it’s getting harder, but it’s not impossible. It’s rather peaceful.
Seeing the truth of the deeper story in your story is both an irritating grain of sand, and solid pearl to add to your collection.
Here’s to writing a ‘big think’ idea today.
I’m NaNo’ing on my own as I’ve grown accustomed.
We don’t need to live a life that others understand. We simply need to live our lives in a way that makes sense to us.
Radical acceptance and great exploration of the mind leads us to want to know more than we can find, so we must write it out and tell our tales.
Here’s to your writing adventures!