Maybe you've noticed it too. I think it started with reality TV where normal people became instant celebrities for doing ...well...nothing. Social media likely added fuel to the fire with people longing to be somebody in the cyber world. I totally get it. It feels good to be validated. This validation feels good when we can measure it, when it's tangible. I'm talking about tangible validation in the form of praise, comments, followers and recognition. But what happens when the desire for this validation turns into arrogance? Have you noticed the level of arrogance in the cyber world? I truly believe this arrogance is seeping into the next generation like poison. I often think about a baby's view on the world as a beautiful example of what God intends for us. A baby does not see color or wealth or fame in their world. A baby could care less how many followers his mom has or whether her necklace is a knock-off or a name brand. What he sees is his mother's smile and her heart. In this crazy world our Father's approval often becomes a whisper compared the shouts we beg for in the form measurable validation. The opposite of this high is the crushing feeling that someone has "unfollowed" us on Instagram or Twitter. Trust me, I have had that "oh my gosh...I just lost two followers" feeling followed by "I wonder what I did?". These thoughts are downright silly! Scratch that...those thoughts are stupid! I know my heart and my intentions. Don't get me wrong. Social media has tons of perks including lifting people up, being inspired by other's kindness, and so on but it also has a lot of uglies to it. I've been fortunate to get to know some amazing women because of Instagram and our cyber-world and I've also experienced a touch of "I'm more successful than you" women.
Now there's a big difference though between arrogance and confidence. My daughter is so kind yet has confidence so fierce I often wonder if it's just a facade. I decided to ask her the other night with the simple question "do you ever care what people think?" and she simply said "no, why would I?". I explained to her that she has more confidence than most people three times her age and how much I admire that quality. I tried to provide a witty explanation with a valley-girl voice I knew would make her giggle (and listen) as a woman that constantly worries what everyone is thinking about her. After a laundry list of "I wonder if everyone thinks my outfit looks dumb?" and "I wonder what people think of the car I drive?" and "do people at the country club think I'm important?" and so on she looked at me laughing and said "why would anyone care about that stuff?". AMEN!! But I confessed to her, I once cared about those silly things more than I should and sometimes it starts to creep back in my life.
As the old saying goes "there will always be someone richer, thinner, younger..." and so on but let's add a modern touch to this with "there will always be someone more famous, with more followers, with more money, more success, tighter abs (haha! I had to throw that one in there)....". I work hard and have big dreams. I would love for my business and brand to continue to grow. But I also like to sleep at night. I can't imagine growing my business at the expense of other people. I admire women like Tory Burch that are known for being approachable and nice. Is it possible to get to the top without being a diva? I think it is. I also think it's important for women to be smart and strong in business. Whatever your approach, just know the whole story gets out eventually. What do you want your story to be? Do you want to be known for being gracious and kind or that you'll claw your way to the top? Ultimately, which option feels good on the inside?
Humility and confidence reign supreme over arrogance. God gives favor to the humble (James 4:6) and knows our heart like no one else. We can't really experience Him without first offering a humble heart. Isn't His opinion what matters most? Besides, as my nine year old would tell you "who cares what people think?".
(Quote recreated yet found here)