Okay, before I get into this post, please recall that I am spending most of my time in bed with chills, aches, pains and general low-level feverishness so I have no sense of how well I’m thinking. You’ll have to tell me.
Mostly I sleep, but when I wake up occasionally and Ollie the cat isn’t pestering me for food, I turn on television for awhile. Yesterday, this commercial turned up several times. Listen for the aspirations:
Wow. Watching all that aspiring exhausted me. I realize Samsung doesn’t give a hoot about selling their smartphones to 70-year-old elders like me, but I also think they unintentionally touched on something about old people that’s useful to know – at least for me:
I don’t want to be number one. At anything. I don’t want to do whatever’s necessary to stand out in a crowd and I have no need to make a dramatic entrance. I’d like my joke not to fall flat, but it’s okay if it does. I wouldn’t mind being “just” the tambourine player in a really great rock’n’roll band – but for one night only as a lark, not a job.
Aspiration, I’m pretty sure, is mostly for young people. The kid in the Batman outfit and young adults aiming to make their place in the world – the world is a better place for all that trying and I was one of them once upon a time.
But somewhere, when I wasn’t looking, I lost interest in making the effort it takes to be number one, the effort to keep ahead of the competition. I’ve also come to see the amazing differences for the good that the number twos and threes and fours, etc. in the world make.
It’s not that I don’t try for my best – writing a blog post, cooking dinner for friends, learning something new, etc. I’ve just let go of the competitive aspect and with it the aspirational one too, at least in the sense that the Samsung commercial intends. It wasn’t a conscious decision; I’m guessing it comes with age.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Steve Kemp: Hurricane Iniki – 9/11/91