Barker

Barker: (n) a person who stands in front of a theater or sideshow and calls out to passersby to attract customers.Dictionary B

The two problems with self-promotion are that they contain a pair of dangerous concepts:

First, self. And second, promoting.

Combined, they create the nervous energy we all feel when people are thrusting themselves into the role of “barker,” to make us aware of what they consider to be a needful idea or product.

Basically, in our age most of the forms of communication are all about “barkers.”

Politics is full of barkers. Supposedly, the more you push, advertise, criticize and self-aggrandize, the better your chance to get a vote. No one stops to ask if this is actually true. It is a foregone conclusion by the pundits that if someone punches you, you should punch back, or if you remain silent too long or simply state your beliefs, you will be overthrown by the mass hysteria of those who generate a mob.

I was always a little uncomfortable with the idea of the evangelizing associated with Christianity. Because even though salvation is promised in the religious community, we first find ourselves barking at people, telling them how evil and destitute they are before we grant them the package of eternal life.

Of course, social media is nothing more than a bunch of technological barkers.

  • “Look at my beautiful this…”
  • “Check out my kid picking his nose, but in his case it’s cute…”
  • “I just got promoted and bought a new car, so don’t you see how much better my life is than your mediocre one?”

Is it possible to quietly succeed?

Is there a path that takes us to heaven without a marching band?

And is there a way to enrich the lives of your brothers and sisters in the world without startling them with your approach?

If there is, I will seek to find it.

And if it is not possible, I will still refrain from being a barker … and quietly walk away into gentle and blissful obscurity. 

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Adulation

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adulation: (n) obsequious flattery; excessive admiration or praise: e.g. he found it difficult to cope with the adulation of the fans.

Excessive admiration.

Doggone. That got me thinking. (Actually, if you’re going to be a writer, you should do some thinking. This premise may not be obvious, especially when you view articles in print. But a certain amount of reasoning, perceiving and a few thought bubbles should precede the process of jotting down lasting words in an essay.)

What is excessive? And what is admiration?

You know, I really think this is something human beings have worked out on their own. We have this great phrase: “admiring from afar.”

Even though I get grumpy and have the occasional lamentation because people don’t inform me of what they like about me, I do realize that they tell others. Maybe there’s something in the human psyche, or our “jungle sense,” which lets us know that we shouldn’t puff people up too much lest we burst them and splatter their contents to the four winds.

So instead, we tell others how much we like them, using that old-fashioned “trickle down” theory. In other words, we hope that what goes around really DOES come around.

There are too many people in this world, though, who hear too much praise and others who are destitute of having their hands lifted and their burdens lightened.

That sucks.

I mean, let’s be honest. Are the people we see on television REALLY the “best” at anything?

Even though I write, perform, compose and so forth, there are many other individuals worthy of more praise than me. So I’m careful to deflect the teaspoon of adulation I receive instead of swallowing it like medicine or licking it like honey off a stick.

Why? Because it’s excessive.

I also do not like religious services in which God is always “adored” and great adulation is given to His Holy Name–when really, as a Father, He would appreciate it if the kids would just pick up the room.

Yes, when you’re a parent, you don’t need your children to come around with saccharine affection, hugging you around the neck all the time. It would just be nice if they would take the trash out at the end of the day.

I don’t like adulation. I do like appreciation. Whenever something is done in kindness it should be acknowledged and encouraged.

But to insist that the person hung the moon because he or she was considerate ,,, is certainly lunacy.