Despite all we’ve been taught about multitasking, it’s unrealistic to expect to do two different things, at the same time, equally well.
It’s bad enough when we juggle texting one person while we’re listening to another: quite frankly, the listening part usually suffers.
But it’s worse when we try to live in accordance with one set of beliefs while incorporating another, totally opposite way of thinking. Like this:
“I am an independent, maverick sort of person,” we tell ourselves. “I do my own thing, my own way, and I don’t let anybody boss me around.”
While this is actually a good way to think, that we are encouraged to do so by advertisers, TV shows, movies, and politicos, should give us pause. The same corporations that flatter U.S. residents into thinking that we are highly individualistic — remnant of our bronco bustin’ frontier days — also teach and tell us what cool and successful look like: by how we dress, what we drive, who we listen to, whom we hate, whom we fear. (The message is slightly different, depending upon whether they’re catering to self-identifying conservatives, liberals, or libertarians — but the key thing is that we go along with what’s acceptable for our particular group.)
The artwork, Magenta in Zion, shows one lone, unique, singular, distinct individual. She is dancing, with measured concentration and grace, in a desert — far from the crowds, the noise, the phone, social media. She is dressed in bold, flowing colors, and she is not looking over her shoulder to see who is watching her, and wondering what they think.
Neither is she pushing her actions or beliefs upon another. Her concentration is upon the task at hand, and her focus is to do it well. She is not worried about looking cool, but rather, to being true to herself: aligning who she is and what she does with what she believes to be right, good, honest, meaningful, kind, and true.
That’s an individual.
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