Ten Thousand Days

Rusted Sentiments

July 28, 2020

Photo: Kevin Noble

Day 2167 – Day 2173

I was doing some research into search terms and found that the biggest hits on YouTube for gratitude were 5 or more years ago.  And yet, the world is still full of unhappiness, discontent and loneliness.

I also notice that the things that people seem to pay attention to are not simple and effective tools.  We’ve become so conditioned to highly produced television and film, immersive entertainment experiences and virtual reality that everything must be ‘packaged’ in order to sell.

I have mad respect for some of the non fiction gurus like Brené Brown and Simon Sinek and I notice Brené has the magic of taking home-spun truths and making them pithy and memorable, with catch phrases and acronyms.  Simon Sinek does the same with unexpected word combinations and grand sounding concepts that are essentially ancient wisdom wrapped up in LED lights.

LED lights are just a distraction.  Gratefulness is free.  Gratefulness is easy.  Gratefulness is transformative.

Nobody is searching for ‘gratitude.’  What surprised me more, when I did some research this morning, is that nobody seems to actually be searching for ‘happiness’ either.

If not happiness, what, then are people seeking?

Gratitude is an old-fashioned word.  You might call it a rusted sentiment.  I studied marketing in college, and I’m grateful for those skills, but I’m just more substance over style.  Maybe that’s just snobbery.  Maybe it’s a little bit of fear.

If I were a “YouTuber,” it would make sense to change my brand and niche.  If I were a writer aspiring to write for the New York Times, it would make sense to try to appeal to the hipster.  After all, gratitude is something that really grows with the ability to take a perspective on life.  Perspective, like wisdom, comes with time.  While we may appreciate being middle-aged with middle-aged thinking, only the new and youthful seems to trend.

I need to serve the message as best I can but trying to be trendy for the sake of popularity would be without purpose.   I’m not using gratitude as a vehicle to get famous for my skills.  I’m using my skills as a way to make gratitude a global movement.

I guess for that, I’m going to have to learn to play the game a little bit better.

Maybe, I’m too sentimental for my own good but I would like to live in a world where the go-to response to life is cooperation instead of competition, abundance instead of striving, and gratitude instead of lack.  Maybe together we can turn Joan Baez on her head and find not rust on the memory of Bob Dylan’s diamonds, but the diamond of happiness in that un-hip and rusty sentiment of gratitude.

(What can I say?  I have loved this song since I first heard a young busker play it on the South Bank in London just 5 years ago  – proof that each generation can re-invigorate worthy ideas).

 

 

For what are you most grateful, today?

 

 

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