I am obsessed with this ridiculous practice where one person will discourage another person from trying something that breaks any comfortable societal norm. I have been thinking about it even more lately because my good friends Chrissy Baker and Alex Governatori are moving to Los Angeles to pursue their dream of becoming big Hollywood heavyweights. This couple is multitalented so I’m excited to see where they end up. While I am already planning my summers at their Malibu beachfront abode, they have also encountered a lot of naysayers.
Then this morning I came across this article Idea Tourism by Seth Godin. In it Godin postures that people shouldn’t judge or advise on something unless they go experience it themselves. Astutely he says if you want to understand a gun lover, go to a shooting range. This quote was my favorite: “Only when we try the idea on for size and actually use it do we understand it. With more ideas offering visitation rights than ever before, learning how to empathize with an idea is critical.”
This line applies to my friends taking the leap out to L.A. of course. As usual I see a connection between everyday challenges and experiencing loss. I’m not sure what the right answer is. Should we accept that there will always be people judging other people’s actions, or should educate these people as we encounter their hopefully unintentional negativity?
I’ve had many people tell me after a while their friends no longer wanted to hear about their loss, which I find heartbreaking. I think the answer lies in leading by example. We all have a responsibility to encourage the people we love as well as the cocktail party acquaintances we meet. Whether someone is looking to make sense of their grief or if they want to be the next pop music sensation, it’s of no cost to us to listen, be respectful and add in an enthusiastic ‘Go for it!’ There is plenty of love and success for all of us.