The most self-defeating attitude is to allow oneself to perceive the world negatively. Such an action can reduce how deeply one thinks, feels, and lives each day to its fullest. Many people in the United States feel that the world around them is ‘bad’ and that things will hopefully be better someday. This attitude only promises that one is defeated from enjoying today. And this defeated attitude may lead to a person losing an understanding of who they are and what they truly love.
In such a blessed country, why are so many people so desperate and unhappy?
Having worked for many years in corporate marketing, I eventually had to step back and realize that I was not doing anyone any favors by advertising with the same negative spin as the rest of the media. I began to examine all the advertisements my company made, and I began to see a definitive pattern.
One day, I sat and watched my 5 year old niece’s eyes bounce around following the flashes of light on the television. Something occurred to me as I watched her. The television was her mirror. She was using the images on the television to define her world, her environment, and all that she was. And as each different ad flashed by I realized she was left wanting and not knowing. This want is a subconscious defeat that advertising claims as victory.
The gospel of defeat….as taught by the media….is the power in advertising which is doing more damage than good. You are not like anyone else in the world. And yet you are surrounded daily by typical persuasions that encourage you to question if you are ‘in style’, hip, relevant, or even ‘fitting in’.
These typical persuasions come in the form of popular culture media advertisements which can disguise themselves in everything from public promotions to privately played video games. There are many ‘machines of persuasion’ within these advertisements and promotions. Branding is the most obvious persuasion. Many movie production companies are subsidized by corporations who convince the movie’s producer to promote a particular video, toy, soft drink, or clothing brand label. One common, and almost constant, emotion these ‘machines of persuasion’ promote ……is sadness. If you do not have what is being presented and promoted you will feel the effect. If you do not feel loss at the end of the commercial, the advertising campaign will not be as successful — and most likely discontinued.
The sun always shines on television advertisements….and subconsciously it may make you question if you are happy with your life in your rainy town? Dwelling on wanting the car you cannot afford could be holding back even more potential happiness. And why doesn’t your home look that fancy, clean, and organized? Maybe it is time to remodel?
How can one be happy knowing you could be healthier, prettier, and more confident? If only you could have that car and house…..or that body…and smile. Maybe you can just settle for the shirt the actor is wearing?
Every advertisement shows you what you DO NOT HAVE in an attempt to convince you what you DO want. If you do not go out and get that product….you will be forced to settle with being unhappy. Most products we see, we do not buy. But every product promotion attempts to convince us we will not be happy until we possess it. It is the goal of advertising to make you feel lack. A three minute commercial break on television is almost always a three minute dive into sadness and want.
When a human body lacks food, it finds stored fat and burns it. When a human being lacks what it desires, it will often panic and lash out in anger or unconscious behavior due to sadness. One common reaction to all this is to blame the world around for this lack.
The idea that someone is ‘owed’ something from the world is created in this blaming game. For this reason, many marketing campaigns will attempt to act compassionate with slogans such as ‘you deserve a break today’ or ‘drive the car you deserve’.
As the subtle desire for ‘things one cannot have’ grows , coupled by the fact that one ‘deserves a better life’, it is possible to adopt an attitude that expresses one has been ‘dealt a bad card in life’.
The negativity that surrounds such a ‘bad card’ attitude can be seen vividly in this new generation of children who are being raised by violent video games, sarcastic sitcoms, superficial advertising, and parents who use the television as a modern day pacifier.
This nation of promise which boasts of being established by warriors, conquerors, frontiersmen, and visionaries has reduced itself to following the gospel of a media which promotes the God of Profit and capitalistic rule. The result is a profit for the big business in media, but negativity for the poor who can only afford to watch, want, and fellowship with each other about what they do not have.
The United Sates has bred a generation of spoiled children who dare complain of lack in an over-consuming and obese culture. This new generation of children who adore television likens itself to children sitting in a room of bright-colored candy, while being told to eat none. These children are grossly lied to and misled to feel lack in a culture of abundance. Fueled with confusion, anger and intensely short attention spans, these children are often medicated at school (A.D.D. medications), while simultaneously being told not to use drugs.
The cycle spins out of control.
In an attempt to sell products that are not needed, the hustling media salesmen have successfully convinced a generation that they do not have enough, deserve more, and have been dealt a bad card in the game of life.
Every day useless products are proudly displayed to millions of viewers who have lost their way and love of living. The viewer believes in the promise that the product will fill their desires and passions. But without purchasing every product that is seen, the viewer is left only with a passionate desire, want and lack……and eventually a loss of individual vision of what he or she TRULY needs.
Life has so much more to offer when you view it from a conqueror, warrior, visionary and frontiersman perspective. Proper perspectives do not come from anyone telling you who you are….or what you need. The deep inner workings of the human spirit are still vaguely understood. But individuality of the spirit is one thing that all cultures and religions do agree on. And no warrior conquered any frontier without a strong individual vision.
So stand up.
Think about why you dream.
And stop believing the gospel of the media……..or you will suffer from the negative perception that it teaches. You lack nothing. You have all that you need for you are alive and reading this.
And if you are blessed to have more than others please realize that the common person may, unfortunately, be saddened by your abundant living. To those blinded by the media, your happiness, beauty, or success is another testament of their lack.
For this reason we should all practice humility in an attempt to reach the heart of those who are still lost in this manufactured environment.
by Scott Norby,
Copyright 2011, Scott Norby. All rights reserved.