Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Web Secret 396: What Makes It Great

Periodically I vow not to spend anymore time on Facebook.

Most of the posts are just drivel, interspersed with ads generated by an algorithm that purports to know what I'm going to buy next.

One particularly offensive one, urged me to consider the benefits of cremation versus interment.

The thing is, occasionally, and unpredictably, I come across something incredible on Facebook.

And I am sucked in all over again. As behavioral health professionals we all know the power of intermittent reinforcement...

So here are two powerful/interesting items I learned about on Facebook:

The first is a post by a woman called Genevieve V Georget that went viral.

One day, Genevieve entered a Starbucks. The barista made assumptions about her life, based on superficial information. She saw a prosperous, well dressed young woman on her way to Italy. And so the Starbucks employee, "wished me a nice trip. 'But then again', she said “why wouldn’t you…your life is golden!

This is the starting point of her essay about how little we know of one another's personal travails and demons in our 8 second attention span, solitary lives.

Genevieve proceeds to disclose some of her personal vulnerabilities and difficulties. And ends with a gift of exhortation for the reader.

Nothing special right? Been written about a thousand times. Ahh, but it's all in the recipe. Here is the oft quoted last section of the post:

"Scars tell stories. Scars mean survival. Scars mean you showed up for the fight instead of running from it.

And we’ve all got them…even the sweet girl serving my coffee. She’s fighting her own battle…defending her own front line…struggling in her own way.

And maybe it’s not about collecting gold stars for the perceived reality we give the world on Facebook…but it’s about the purple hearts we get for living bravely among the real one.

Because life requires guts…it requires bravery…and it requires vulnerability.

So, buy your coffee…wear your scars proudly…and carry on, dear soldier…

You’re not in this battle alone."

Here is my second Facebook find: Rob Kapilow is a world-renowned composer and conductor, and creator of the performance series, “What Makes It Great”, where he dissects, note by note, the hidden majesty within beautiful pieces of music. Sounds boring, right? It's not. It's enthralling.

Here is Rob analyzing Gershwin's "Summertime".

Handel's "Hallelujah" Chorus.

Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek."

Like hearing them for the first time.

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