4 Resolutions for All of Us in 2014
It’s that time of year where everyone begins to reevaluate and consider what would make this new year so much better, and being the generous person that I am, I took the liberty of writing some group resolutions we should all strive for in 2014. Without further ado, my 4 community resolutions for everyone in 2014:
1) We resolve to no longer use the phrase “Killing It”
2013 was the year when everyone was killing it. I can’t think of a single concert, friend, entrepreneur, album, artist, creative group, chef, restaurant, event, barista who wasn’t “killing it”. So and So killed it tonight at this. Place of business is killing the coffee game right now. They are killing it on stage. A couple thoughts on this: A) if everyone is killing it, then by default, no one is actually killing it. We are like the boy who cried wolf, only the people who cried “killing it”. Because we said everyone was killing it, we have no idea who truly seized and transcended the moment. B) To say something/one “killed it” isn’t quite the compliment it was intended to be. It’s lazy – grammatically, emotionally, and personally.
The Point: We (as a culture) struggle to say anything significant about each other and because of doing this, our compliments mean less. It’s okay that not every thing we do (or our friends do) “kills it’. It’s okay that sometimes it’s a process and that we are learning but because we feel some social obligation to lump everything into the premise of amazing, we actually miss out on those rare moments that transcend the experience, that connect us to something bigger. And those moments are important, so in 2014, let’s be very intentional about complimenting each other. Don’t summarize an SNL performance the same way you would seeing your friend achieve their dream. Give true, actual, meaningful compliments rather than using the same phrase we do for a well made burrito. Words matter, especially in a world saturated by social media, and our words to our friends carry more weight than we can know. So provide real, genuine compliments in 2014 and use your words to give power and meaning to your friends who are realizing their dreams.
2) We resolve to stop classifying anything and everything as “Hipster”
Maybe this is more of a Nashville problem, but there tends to be the inclination to call everything new or cool or something that you don’t understand as hipster. It’s a lame categorization and really doesn’t mean anything, especially to actual hipsters (who hate that label more than anything). Because “hipster” means different things to different people, it is now devoid of any true meaning. Some people, the moment they hear that word, think it provides immediate street creed while others think that it’s the label of doom.
The Point: A lot like resolution number 1, it’s lazy and these kind of labels contribute nothing to the greater good. So let’s all agree to stop calling anyone or anything “hipster”. Like the original hipsters, I’m over it.
3) This is probably the biggest one for 2014: WE RESOLVE TO STOP STEALING CONTENT
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have gone on the big 3 of social media (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) and seen people passing off jokes/images/quotes/comments as if they are the original creator. Look, there is NO HARM in sharing something you find funny, interesting, profound, etc, but there is a huge deep, underlying issue when you claim it as your own. It’s completely okay to post something on instagram that you saw on Reddit/Imgur/Tumblr, but GIVE CREDIT.
You know what happens when you don’t? You lie, and the world takes notice. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you the story of Sammy Rhodes, who started on twitter under the name @ProdigalSam.
ProdigalSam was hilarious (he still is, he didn’t die or anything), and always putting out new and funnier jokes, all within 140 characters or less. He wasn’t a writer for a comedy show, he wasn’t a stand up, he was just a college pastor who had a great sense of humor. And his fame blew up (well, in the twitter world anyway) and more and more people (even genuinely famous people) began to take notice of his jokes and the amount of content he created took everyone by surprise. And then the accusations started pouring in – he was stealing jokes. In his words he wasn’t stealing them, he was reworking jokes (which to a comedian is stealing). It got so bad, and the response so visceral that he had to take a hiatus from twitter. The accusations were personal, violent, mean, crude, and some of them true. And the reality behind the “scandal” wasn’t that his comedy took a hit, but his faith took a hit. Whether intentional or not, people think less of Jesus because of him. That’s tough to deal with, and honestly, the worst possible outcome for other Christians, funny or not. After his twitter hiatus, he recently returned with this summation and apology. It’s long but worth the read. Read it here.
But it wasn’t just a twitter comedian who was accused this year. Pastor Mark Driscoll keeps coming under extreme pressure due to plagiarism (stealing this tweet yesterday). He was stealing content and not giving credit and again the world noticed, and it ended up costing people their jobs in very shady and very controversial circumstances , but it brought up a bigger issue that resulted in this amazing article being written on the issue of Idolatry. Take a few minutes and read this, it is far more articulate than I am, but when we claim credit for work that we don’t actually create, we worship the alter of fame and recognition of self.
The Point: Not only are you being dishonest, you are hurting the credibility and the name of our Holy God, whether that’s what you mean to do or not. So in 2014, let’s give credit where credit is due. No one is going to think less of you because you become a champion of sharing great work. No one is going to think of less of you because every great insight didn’t start with you, but they will think significantly less of you and significantly less of our God when they find out you aren’t who you pretend to be. This year, let’s all find our identity in the Resurrected and Grace-filled God who loves us unconditionally and who calls us to do the same.
4) We resolve to do a better job flossing.
This one makes my list every year, so I thought I might as well include it once again (surely I can’t be the only one) so you are invited to show your dentist that we actually hear them.
Cheers to 2014. It’s going to be a great year.