I am depriving a fellow human being of paid employment so that I can get out of the joint two minutes earlier. I should be OK with this because I am pro progress and it does no one any good for us to suppress technology. Maybe I feel bad because the survivors of this technological innovation, those yet to lose their jobs, are within eye shot…and the whole thing seems…unseemly.
How did I get to be this soft?
I feel as if I am being taken for a ride by the supermarket. They screw down their costs and make me do work they used to pay someone to do for me and my reward is a few extra minutes, the feeling of being in control (yes!) and of course, the dopamine hit of the “beep”.
I feel like a rat in a maze. Knowing someone is pressing my psychological buttons yet unable to do anything about it.
So I use these machines. And sometimes they talk to me.
When I scan a bottle of addictive alcoholic grape juice drink the machine says…
I need the supermarket’s approval to buy this thing. I need to be over 18. I need approval.
Despite hearing this regularly for years it was only last week that I heard it differently. The machine was no longer telling me I needed approval. The machine was seeking my approval…to exist. I laughed out loud. In my peripheral vision I can see fellow shoppers looking at me.
The low-self-esteem machine is seeking my approval. Not exactly Hal.
A lot of us do need approval.
From bosses; colleagues; friends; dead people.
I don’t mean the formal kind, as in when you cannot fly first class to Whereeveryoulike, California for a strategic lunch with your eh, PA, without the boss’ signature.
I mean the self-imposed limits to our behaviour that we force ourselves to operate inside in order to gain or maintain the approval of others…this is (just about) OK if the others are pushing hard for us to excel (even then it’s a bit parent/child with us in the child role) but they usually aren’t. They just want you to fit in with their worldview. Their approval is based on arbitrary considerations.
And the crazy part is maybe they don’t even want the role of your approver. They don’t think like that. The whole bloody thing…self-limiting behaviour, seeking approval…is in our head. What a waste of time. And potential.
Best to not seek anyone’s approval. Who are they anyway? How can you ever be your best when you stifle and inhibit yourself?
Don’t try to be great by being approved of. Be great and then people will approve of you.
Greatness is always approved of. It becomes part of the establishment. I remember listening to Public Enemy in the beginning. They were definitely on the outside of the inside. Many years later, they provide the London 2012 Paralympics theme tune.
The examples of those who chose greatness and as such were approved of are legion.
Now I am searching for an example of someone who chose approval and through it found greatness…I’m sure I’ll think of one…any moment now…