Be Known for What You Love

—video transcript—
I love birds.
If anyone gets to know me for any length of time, this fact will reveal itself. I’m such a fan of the feathered ones that something about birds will come up naturally in conversation. I promise I don’t just randomly blurt out “BIRDS.” It comes up naturally. Or if we’re out and about, I will inevitably point out a bird or two or three. I notice them because I love them.

Nothing can make my heart flutter with more happiness than having someone say, “oh, I noticed a bird, and I thought of you.” Better yet, someone not only starts to notice the birds because of me, but they come to appreciate the birds so much so that maybe even they want to help nurture and protect them. That is true joy.

I am so thankful to be known by my love of birds. And of course, birds are just one of many things that I truly love and care. about.

A few years back, I started following a particular organization on the socials. They were focused on topics of interest to me at the time, and I thought Iin following them, I could gain some insight and see if I needed to dig a little deeper or perhaps start participating. After a few weeks I stopped following them. I actually literally unfollowed those social accounts because all I had learned in the content that they shared was what they loathed. I had no true sense of what they loved as an organization, what they cared about, what they were for. I only knew of the diatribes and, really, the vitriol that they were purveying. In theory, I understood the things that they represented and were frustrated about. But they were really just venting. They weren’t even presented in the context of activism to precipitate change. I would have benefited so much more in understanding why they were against the things they were against in the context of understanding what they loved, what they were for.

Sometime ago I was chatting with the lady regarding my business. I’m a digital marketer by trade, and I have a virtual agency. And I was advising her on some things related to social media for business. When I do so I get excited. I get very expressive about the topic that I’m sharing. Especially if I know the person really needs that info, I’ll get all into it. And in the midst of the conversation, she said, “you really love what you do, don’t you? You love this stuff.” And I said…I didn’t preach, but I did take the opportunity to say…”you know, I really like what I do, and I appreciate that I’m good at what I do, but in liking and appreciating my skill at it and thus being successful, it actually makes more room in my life to focus on what I actually love. “

I said that because I thought it actually might be helpful for her. As she’s learning to navigate all these social media tools, it can be so overwhelming, and you don’t have to love them to be good at it. But also it reflects that I’m in a season of life where I’m very intentional about the use of the word “love.”

I completely get it, that we live in a world where the colloquial is “I love Doritos. I love, you know, my sports team. I love, Oh, whatever, an outfit, a store.” And I know that most of us understand that true love is something very, very different, but I do try to reserve that word love for the things that actually merit that level of my care focus and concern, my attention and my awareness. It just helps me as a person, always keep my footing about what my priorities are.

So, as I look at our lives and how we’re focused on things, I think there’s so much value in remembering the benefit comes in being known by what we love, in knowing what we love and then sharing that with others. We might bring them into the fold. And then if we take up a cause and we become impassioned about righting wrongs, it’s done in the context of understanding what we are fighting for. And it’s motivated by love, which brings much greater meaning.

There’s a group on one of the socials that I participate in; I still participate in to this day. But there was a season of time where I noticed this group’s interactions and engagements really intensified. The numbers kind of grew because there was, in that moment, a shared loathing for this particular business entity that a lot of the folks in the group had to interact with on a regular basis.

It was very interesting to observe because it reflected the human truth that we often rally and gather based on a shared anger, frustration, or loathing of someone or something. We will, as humans, we will gather based on interests, shared experiences, things that we like. But man, we will group up when there is something we collectively dislike!

It may have served a purpose in that moment when so many people rallied and shared their frustrations. However, the health and longevity of that group had to run deeper than a season of disdain for a particular business.

We all probably have been in some version of the scenario I’m about to describe. I’ll pick a workplace where nobody likes the boss. So suddenly this mishmash of humans who work for this particular boss have a shared loathing. And we gather around the proverbial water cooler to discuss this boss. There’s inside jokes about the boss. People talk and commiserate and just need to vent about the boss. So much venting…we’ve probably seen this…where a spark becomes a flame becomes a forest fire of anger and frustration. And then the boss moves on, somebody changes jobs, and the friendships didn’t have a root system because that shared anger and frustration is past. We need more than just a shared disregard or dislike in order to truly connect.

And that brings us back to that idea of knowing what we truly love. Therein lies the opportunity to deeply connect, to find greater purpose and really prioritize our thinking in our lives and our activities to support the things we love. Take, for example, I’ll circle back to my birds. Because I love birds and I truly do. I’m a huge fan of the feathered ones. (I’m also a fan of my dog who just did that; love that dog.)

But the birds… I care about them, and I love them so much that I support organizations that protect bird habitats. I am involved in opportunities to nurture birds and protect birds and help them exist and thrive. I’m aware of reduced populations. I pay attention to so many issues related to birds because I love them. So it’s not just a “heart flutter yay” for something that I’m excited about and that I love. But then I do want to take action. I’m motivated to take action because I care so deeply.

This idea permeates everyday life. And that’s why I wanted to share it with you.

May I say at the risk of sounding a little cheesy, I truly love the opportunity to share with you. And I am very grateful that you carved a few minutes to listen to , these thoughts that I have to share with you today.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here!

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