Life coach, Tony Robbins believes, and I agree, that one of life’s great motivations is significance. Significance can just as well be evil as good. Names like Hitler or Stalin are remembered and often given more cultural significance than history’s heroes.
The economics are great for the news industry: rising supply of evil to sell and a relentless demand from customers. Americans have an infatuation and insatiable appetite for bad news. Like sex, tragedy sells.
To illustrate how violence is often fueled by significance, Robbins said, “I come up to you and put a gun to your head, just how significant am I on a zero to ten scale in your life right now?”
Violence is complex and I won’t pretend to understand the mind of a killer, but I see American media give a hero’s front page tribute to every sick, murderous bastard that terrorizes the public. And hundreds of Facebook friends play right along.
I appreciate those who with good intentions, want to express sympathy for those affected that they don’t know, but feel compassion for. I respect the need for more dialogue on solutions to our unsustainable culture of violence. When it really comes down to the heart of the issue, though, and we are really honest with ourselves, bad news is often merely the entertainment du jour. It’s something to read about, something to talk about, something to fixate on for awhile. The more we’re willing to offer our attention and lend significance to violence, the more we support a culture that feeds its perpetuation.
Is your participation actually contributing to a solution or feeding significance to the growing problem of our love affair with tragedy?