Along with millions of others, I have acquired a particular taste for the musings of Seth Godin. For those that have yet to stumble onto his work, Seth is a marketing juggernaut. But not in the sense normally attributed to such a person. Yes, he knows how to sell. And, I would imagine that his giftedness in this area has probably made him a very wealthy man. However, his approach lacks the slime that we wittingly (although not always justifiably) associate with the “man behind the curtain.”
I have an altogether different reason for liking him though. His approach begs his readers to lay bare the intent behind the message. In fact, a recent post of his on Merchants of Dissatisfaction got me thinking about the connection to the family.
Like the post intimates, there are many elements of our media that prey on our perceived dissatisfaction. As a father, this means that my three daughters, although young, have become targets of a very particular message. Unfortunately, the message rarely delivers substance that’s conducive to healthy young minds….or bodies for that matter.
Test this theory when you get the chance. The next time you watch a television show, go to a movie, drive down the road….take note of what you see. My guess is that you are going to find consistent reminders of our failure to have enough and be enough.
Filtering The Message
Our first challenge as fathers is to make sure that we haven’t become convinced of this message ourselves. It’s going to be exceedingly difficult to be a filter for our kids when we already drank the Kool Aid. Fortunately, a good gut-check may be what we need to get our heads right.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these influencing agents are without merit either. Depending the on the age of your kids, there are some great teaching moments in failing ideals. The kicker is that you have to be there with them in order to bring them insight.
So, the next time your son or daughter is faced with the limitless bliss that only comes in a size zero or an NFL contract, reinforce the reality of their worth. They need the love of a father’s wisdom, not an eating disorder or an inferiority complex.