Worried? Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

May 12, 2014


There was a man for whom I once worked.  He had lived through the worst life tragedy – the unspeakable.  The one that we all tell ourselves will render us functionless.

Yet, he pressed on.

As one of his reports – we worked through some tough issues.  We were “in the trenches” together. And he had done four tours in Viet Nam.  He knew what being in the trenches meant.

I live in a thin skin.  Too often, I found myself in his office weeping.    About my own life’s challenges at that time – not trivial.  But then again, I still had my two children.  He did not.

He once proclaimed to me – that there are tough times – and there are beautiful times too.  We live through and for both. Uplifting words from a man who would never see his children again.

What we do is not about life and death and candidly, not all that important.  Our profession is about a basic element ~ albeit mostly superficial.  We get people interested in those things and issues that matter (to them.) We inspire.  We do it through words, art, music and passion.

Sometimes we generate movements, sometimes we fail.

We worry.  We wonder.  We quantify. We hope.  We worry again.

Lately, I am surrounded by people who are worried.  About valid life circumstances.  Not that I am not a hand wringer.  Or I was.  Until – after working with a man with a serious tragedy – sunk in.

The things that we worry about are often not the ones that materialize. The things that happen with and to us and those events that we never imagined.

The heartbeat of communications is about building the best case for the right people in the right place.  When we do it right we move public sentiment.  That public votes for our candidate, buys our car, attends our event and purchases the CD’s and becomes our customer.

They never love us back – but they love the stuff that we wish to sell.

At some juncture, I realized that I had morphed from a hang-wringing worrier to a superficial cuss. After spending the time behind lots of curtains (cause that is what we do and where we live) it became clear that living in the inspirational space maybe makes the world well—and helps folks to get through the day.

Customers, clients and all humans really just desire one thing – it’s that “pursuit of happiness” objective.  Especially we Americans – it is kind of our entitlement.  And we pursue it with rigor – often filling life’s holes with stuff – and the advertising industry has made an art and science of how to get “you” (sad and worried person) to buy your happiness.

While it is ill advised (possibly) to “don’t worry and be happy,” there is something too it.  It never turns out the way we thought it would.  Sometimes it’s more beautiful and sometimes more hurtful than words can describe.

And we all get our hearts broken.  No amount of stuff, fame or glory renders any of us exempt.  It happens in the “worst of times and the best of times.”  We all wind up in the same place.

We create thoughts, words, ideas and content to make the journey more to smile about.

Or more aptly put by Sean Mullins “Everything’s gonna be alright.   Rock-a-by, Lullaby.  Bye, Bye.” And so it goes.