Twelve hours of mulling over today’s #reverb10 prompt hasn’t made it any clearer:
Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
I’ve read at least a dozen posts on this prompt, and the responses are widely varied. Grace Boyle nails it in her post, “Letting YOU Shine.” Matt Cheuvront took an approach with an homage to Rocky in his: “Are You a Fighter?”
And I think that in itself is what’s beautifully different: our perspectives. Each of us is molded and shaped by our experiences and backgrounds. A random off-hand comment made to (or by) our eight-year-old selves may forever color how we see something.
Each experience adds a new lens to our glasses, whether rose-colored or otherwise. A particularly vivid memory tinged with extreme joy or sorrow will sharpen how we see similar incidents. Things we’d rather forget get blurry, like Vaseline smeared over the lens, a trick to enhance less-than-ideal events.
I’m just finishing a class on Consumer Insights (the final is tomorrow, in fact), and learning how different market segments view the world has opened my eyes to an entirely new world. This one class, over ten weeks, has given me an entirely new set of lenses (with nerdy frames) to look at advertising critically and determine which consumer values marketers are trying to leverage. What does each group – whether ethnic, religious, cultural, or fans of a given product – value? Why?
You can make sweeping generalizations – and you have to, sometimes – but the truth is, we can never really know exactly what makes someone tick, what drives them, what they see when they look at an ad.
And that’s what makes me different. The year I spent in Hungary completely transformed me at the impressionable age of 14. Being a big sister gave me another set of experiences with corresponding lenses, as did the high school debate team. Heck, girl scout camping trips and grocery shopping with my mom left indelible impressions that reverberate today, whether I realize it or not. Each and every experience – no matter how seemingly insignificant – contributes to the mosaic that is me.
You can try to walk in someone else’s shoes, but unless you know what glasses they’re wearing, you’ll never fully understand their perspective.