(Me, Bryan and Jon years ago)
Today, I watched a wonderful commencement speech by Jim Carrey at the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa. It was funny but also wise and full of thoughts that don’t make it into enough of these speeches. I have to say the speaker when I graduated presented the most cliche, boring, droll, low energy speech you could ever imagine.
“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world.” I wrote this down as I heard it, and revisited it later. Why did this strike me in such a strange place in my heart? It could have been because I have never feared being invisible or yearned for any spotlight. But I do fear being a part of the status quo, especially a status quo that is failing in so many ways. I thought to myself, maybe that’s why I never sought approval from the masses.
I’ve always known that being a part of something big, being in the spotlight, meant having to care about acceptance, because without it, you’d lose your spot in line. Acceptance and attention equals existence when you live life that way. We talk about over-saturation of social networking and the need to document every single thought and moment in time.
But we never talk about over-saturation of opinions – we have reached a point in this world where every possible opinion on every possible scenario is expressed, represented, fought over, reported on, gathered over, and then forgotten. Over and over and over and over again. It now has no meaning; to care about anything, any cause, is almost as comical as trying to champion an international charity, right? Remember Bono everybody.
I don’t actually believe that trying to do international charity or caring about a cause is a bad thing; I would march on Washington for women’s reproductive rights at any possible chance. My point is this: the world is too big now and opinions don’t matter. What matters is what you do in this world and the impression you make on others. Jim Carrey’s speech brings up good points about community and being a positive force to the people around you, because we are so inconsequential in the scope of the universe that that’s all we can ask. He suggests dropping your fear that you mask as practicality (totally me!). Ask the universe for what you want and put your spirit out there, take away concern from the people you love with kindness and humor.
It felt good listening to him speak, because I thought about the rich love I have in my life, with my friends and family and husband. I thought about how free I’ve always felt and how grateful I am for that because so many take it for granted or are unable to feel free and feel loved simultaneously.
Watch the video here.
(Friends on our way to the wedding.)