There was a time when it was easy to know all the rules. There was the golden rule, the simple rules that made up the rules of “etiquette” that Miss Manners would teach us. They were a guide to how to react, how to look at things. How to make sure that others felt comfortable with you and who/what you were.
But these days no rules seem to be the rule. The more you can shock someone, the more you can be out of the normal trend of things – the more people may notice you. And it may not be because you did something good, it may be quite the opposite. Be shocking enough or do something that will make people be “aghast” with the way you did it. In popular culture that means you will get noticed, you will be part of the buzz or covered on TMZ or tabloid shows on television. You will show up on some magazine as the “newest” thing.
In these days it seems that it means it has to be notched up. In order to get attention above the normal for this week, one needs to be out-of-bounds even farther than those before us. Of course to make it all work you have to add the Internet. Just do it on YouTube and have it be viral and you will be a star for next week.
It’s like being “change junkies”, even our youth here in the US are thriving on the difference. That seems to have always been the thing…but the notches have turned up higher than before. The shear out-of-bounds rules of the 50’s when kids came to school with blue-jeans on (dungarees) and people were struggling with hair cuts and music. The rules were also changing then for the youth. Now they have become so much more accelerated don’t you think? How can our youth out-do the popular culture which is coming at us all 24/4 on any URL you wish to Google.
So we end up heading toward the potential for a more complicated life. Like working hard to keep track of the “new-rules.” If we are going to be sure we are aware of them, it could prove to be not so simple. All of the media around us and our children’s peer groups screaming it.
My advice to my kids: Be aware of the new rules, but keep it simple. That is going to be my motto too. Just take it one day at a time, understand that you don’t have to make things be bigger, louder, meaner, faster, or on the fringe. Take care to understand the rules will change, and change is good… but don’t let those rules rule you. You can stay in control of things with the simple rules and let that drive your spirit with the power and grace.