People overestimate the capacity of human memory.
They ascribe far more meaning and drama to the fleeting little moments that happen between people, when the reality is, most of the world isn’t losing sleep over most of the things that happen to them.
But it’s not our fault. Just blame it television.
For over fifty years, our culture has watched hundreds of thousands of hours of sitcoms that portray various groups of oddballs forced to work together and get along.
It’s a proven artistic formula. Characters with peculiar dispositions create superficial conflict in the lives of other people with horrible but hilarious results. Must see tv, indeed.
Seinfeld is a perfect example particular. The most successful sitcom in history consisted of four unlikable characters who did seemingly simple actions on a whim, and then had to live with the disastrous series of circumstances that resulted from their innocent choice.
Jerry, for example, steals a loaf of marbled rye from an irritable old women. Following that story arc, the same lady appears in a future episode, whereupon she recognizes him as the thief, and ultimately casts the deciding vote to impeach his father as president of his condo community.
What a perfect and tidy example of cinematic closure. The butterfly effect of modern television.
Sadly, real life is rarely that dramatic. Most interactions are forgotten. No matter how special and influential we think we are.
Sitcoms, then, have seriously skewed our social expectations. They’ve perpetuated the fallacy of dramatic introspection. Meaning, when we over analyze our lives, acting as if there were a home audience watching our story unfold, we tend to find nuance where there is none. We attempt to make stew out of a soup bone.
And not to downplay the power of reflection and symbolism and synchronicity.
But not everything needs to be a thing.
Most people are too busy getting ahead and making their way to even think about us. Even if they are thinking about us, they’re not thinking about us enough to form a judgment.
It’s a humbling realization, but the time and energy it saves is worth it.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you giving an insignificant moment more weight that it deserves?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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