There are things we see and then things we choose to not see.
Take the “show of paperwork” stunt by Sean Spicer during a press conference last week when it came time to reveal the healthcare reform bill. “See these piles of paper. One is so much shorter than the other. See how much more efficient it is!”
Look at the size. This is the Democrats. This is us. This is government. This is not.
Click HERE to watch the 1 minute video.
While I haven’t read the bill myself, I’m guessing there are some paragraphs that read something like:
“See pages 150 - 562 in previous bill” because so much of the infrastructure they want to use for this current bill was put in place by the previous bill.”
Yes, it is true that the pile of papers for the new bill is shorter or smaller but seeing isn’t always believing. Why do you think magic tricks are so successful?
Okay, maybe it’s just me as I fall for magic tricks whenever I see them. But then again, maybe it’s because I want to believe in what I see in front of me and don’t want to think about what is really going on…
Which brings me to something more personal when it comes to smoke and mirrors.
Seth Godin’s recent post, Our Pre-Judgement Problem, comes to mind.
He talks about how we judge others, often times it’s not intentional or subconscious. We run through certain criteria - which in some cases - comes in very handy but other times it can cloud our judgement. We can make an assumption and then stick with it…even when information or evidence comes to light that could change our minds.
This comes into play especially in social groups. I see it all the time. And I have experienced this throughout my life. For example, let’s travel back to 1993.
I was a junior in High School and I was becoming more popular. I was doing well in sports, had good grades and was losing weight so I was looking “better.” I started getting invited to hang out with some different groups of kids. Some would say they were “cooler” or “more popular” and it was such a different world for me. There were friends I had made who were friends with me when I wasn’t on the varsity team and when I wasn’t “thinner and more attractive.”
What did I do?
I wish I could say that I stayed true to my friends. That I didn’t let the sports and other groups get to me…but I can’t because I didn’t. I let the smoke and mirrors of these other groups cloud my judgement and my lens got all distorted. I wasn’t true to my real friends and you know what…I am so fortunate today that one of those friends is still willing to be friends with me today (Thank you Alicia!)
When was the last time you chose to get lost in the smoke and mirrors because you didn’t want to really see what was going on? The last time you chose to “believe” what you heard or more along the lines of go along with them to keep it easy and not cause any waves…kind of idea.
That is how many ideas and products are sold today. You just need to…
- Buy that eye cream because you know you look tired…so use this and you will see improvement in 3 weeks or your money back!
- Buy this protein shake because you know you want to have those abs you’ve always wanted.
- Read this book and your life will be just as you want it to be!
- Buy this course because if you follow the 126 steps, your life can be just as glamorous!
Now, take the eye cream infomercial as an example. No where in the commercial do they talk about getting more sleep, taking more stress out of your life, eating less processed food or just washing your face with soaps and creams that are natural and not full of perfumes and other ingredients your skin doesn’t like.
So much of it is smoke and mirrors…
And when I think of all of this, my mind goes to Alessia Cara’s song, Scars to Your Beautiful - and I listen to this song all of the time and it’s on my playlist to play multiple times as I’m working on my current book project, Unleashing Your Inner Warrior: Your Road to Unbecoming.
She just wants to be beautiful
She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits,
She craves attention, she praises an image,
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor
Oh she don't see the light that's shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
Granted, I could copy and paste the whole song here and click HERE to read the lyrics because they are powerful. It speaks not only to me because of my current book project or because I was diagnosed with anorexia in high school and has subsequent relapses in my 20s and 30s or because it took me longer than it should have to see the beauty within…
With my updated lens on life, which is made of my social norms, past experiences and personal values (click HERE to read my article that I go into depth on this) I see past, beyond the smoke and mirrors society is feeding me.
I am not sculpted by the sculptor
I see the light that is shining
I’m not blind to what is inside of me or going on around me
I don’t crave attention
I don’t praise an image, I honor a way of BEING
And so should YOU.