May Virtue Go Viral

http://recruiterpoet.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/bullhorn.jpgSocial media has made the world smaller, and in doing so I think it's allowed many more talented people to flourish.  Famously, Justin Bieber was "discovered" on YouTube; and now the proliferation of reality shows and social media sites is such that if you have just a shred of talent (and even if you don't), there are venues to share yourself with the world, receive positive encouragement, and get motivated to get even better and share even broader.  As a result, we have a ridiculous amount of people who are ridiculously good at singing, dancing, juggling, and a whole host of other things that cause me to watch video after video when I should be going to bed or doing chores.

Don't miss my point here.  The world has always contained talented people.  But, when there was less mass media, you had a limited audience to show off your talent, unless you got really good AND were connected enough to get help to get you to bigger stages.  It took a lot of moxie and a lot of "want" to hone your craft and get world-class good.  Now, with little more than a smartphone, you can self-produce, self-publish, and self-make your way to an audience of millions.  The positive feedback loop is there to turn a little bit of talent into a lot more talent, to push past just being very good to get to a place where you are really, really great.  And the world is richer for it.

Nothing against playing the piano or doing magic tricks or belting out Broadway tunes, but there are things that are far more important than various kinds of artistic performances.  Shouldn't people of faith, driven as we are by a desire to share our blessings and help those in need, also be proliferating in our outreach and service?  Shouldn't we also be savvy on social media, receive positive feedback on something we're good at and feel called to, and get energized to do even more good?  Or are we more motivated to see our entertainment-related talents go viral than our desire to see people get healed and helped? 

As we enjoy the richness of what is available to us to consume in the form of entertainment - and, gosh, there are a lot of really, really, really talented folks out there nowadays - let's also hope for virtue and charity and mercy and righteousness to proliferate too.  

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