“The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.” Richard R. Grant
“Thanks for friending me on Facebook,” Mike, an average 40ish guy said to me after taking my yoga class last week.
Later that night I perused the various status updates on Facebook and saw things like:
–”Ryan is… still high from Obamamania”
–”Angela is… recovering from hangover after big night with Jeanelle.”
WHAT?! I looked further into it and realized the dirty status update was from the same Mike mentioned previously…the average 40sih guy from my yoga class.
Then a few days later, a woman named Jacquelina, mid 50′s, MD, seemingly brilliant, who’s been taking my class for 2 years, says to me while putting on her shoes, “Hey great class, I love your pictures on Facebook.”
While looking through that day’s Facebook status updates, I saw:
–”Sarah is…cooking my boyfriend an amazing dinner.”
–”Bobby is…stuck at airport in Munich…SUCKS!”
–”Martina is…ending long day at work ready to hit the town.”
But then I saw another troubling status update: “Jacquelina is…buying an 8-ball of coke and getting ready to hunker down and rail up.”
WHAT?! I could NOT believe my eyes. And it was from Jacquelina who seemed like the nicest, most well-put together woman in the world.
When I saw her a short time later in my yoga class, she approached me to say, “I am so so sorry about what happened on Facebook. There’s a guy who’s been breaking into peoples’ accounts and he obviously got into mine.”
I consider myself one of the lucky ones because I got an anonymous email from nothing short of an angel. The email mentioned that by responding with my credit card number, security code, Facebook user ID and password, that I would be protected from any intrusions to my account. Naturally, I signed up for the monthly service fee and am sleeping a whole lot better at night.
Loss of identity is a terrible problem. But there is a worse kind that has a much deeper impact: loss of purpose. And this past Tuesday, so many Americans realized that purpose was something we’d been missing. When is the last time that we celebrated a national accomplishment?
Before Tuesday’s inauguration, it was more common to feel the charge of purpose with 18,000 Laker fans when Kobe Bryant triple pumps and slams it home. Or when “woowooing!” the sweet notes from the late Jerry Garcia’s guitar with 20,000 Deadheads at Madison Square Garden. But to feel the charge of purpose in a crowd celebrating not baskets and guitar rips but “change!” and “equality!” and “hope!” If Obama came to your town, would 100,000 fired up Americans not jam-pack your local stadium and feed off the very same vibration!?
It’s been so long since we’ve had a national purpose that I personally never even knew this feeling existed. And this first taste must be nearly as exhilarating as the first breath. Let’s keep this feeling alive and let’s keep this man safe. A wise one so perfectly summed up the power yet delicacy of our first steps as a truly equal nation, “We can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.”