AND Choose the Graceful Act

February 15th, 2015

This past week a disgraced governor and news anchor left their positions, if only temporarily in one case, indicted and convicted by the media. AND we learned about their actions on the news.

Another so-called story appearing under the heading of the news was that Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, was photographed sleeping during the President’s address to the nation. Why is such information considered newsworthy? AND what does it say that NBC news chose to put it on the evening news where less than thirty minutes is meant to highlight what the public needs to know—or otherwise find entertaining?

What does it say about us a nation that a woman of Ginsberg’s accomplishments, wisdom, and leadership, is not accorded enough respect to look away from such a minor indiscretion? So many men, from presidents to actors to corporate executives, have been protected from exposure of major inappropriate, if not illegal, actions in the past. And yet today, we seem to feed the media frenzy to find anything to knock accomplished individuals from their earned and respected status.

What does it say about us that marketing firm research reports the top ten most trusted people in the US are actors? Can we really not see the people behind the masks? Are we so insecure in our own being that we have to look for whatever we might call flaws in others in order to feel better about ourselves?

We perpetuate the cycles of inhumanity to others when we favor such media and feed its actions. We perpetuate the myth that we are somehow superior for not either having committed the same indiscretions, or believing that we never would. We place individuals on pedestals and when they disappoint us, we publicly humiliate them.

The reported information about Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a great big mirror for the rest of us to ask what it takes to admire and respect the successes of others without feeling inadequate about ourselves. I don’t really care why she fell asleep. This story was not about her.

It was about media, run amok in power and popularity contests for ratings, losing its north star and a public that takes delight in looking for something to diminish the light of those who rise to the top. AND we can change the dynamic by pulling our support for such activity and consciously providing moments of grace for anyone who needs it. Our work, family, and community environments would shine a little brighter and feel a little kinder.

ee cummings wrote, “I would rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance”. We would do well to find the light and foster it and stop looking for ways to diminish what gifts others bring.

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