Bubblewrap Society

These days on social media and in real life, all it takes to be accused of having a bad attitude is to be realistic about any given situation.  So many in society have decided that a bubblewrap society is far more important to everyone’s emotional well-being, and trumps any modicum of common sense that may not support the bubblewrap opinions individuals hold in high regard.

Society as a whole has taken to overprotecting the feelings of every single person at the expense of natural consequences, and learning from one’s mistakes.  As technology rushes ahead in all directions at hyperspeeds, more and more people believe their own press … especially their own press on social media.

Most people expect a participation award just for showing up in life instead of playing to win, and accepting that they might actually lose a round or two along the way.  When they don’t get a participation award just for showing up in life, they cry foul or even worse, they howl about how they are being bullied by others.

Recently I observed a discussion in an authors and writers group on Facebook that went the way of so many discussions on social media these days.  The group member posted that she had just picked up the guitar (her first lesson completed), and that in the very near future, she was going to be hitting the big time with her songs she planned on selling to big name recording artists.

A handful of members bubblewrapped this first member with words of encouragement with nary a word about the illusion this group member had about how the industry operates.  One member suggested that the first member educate herself with regards to the music industry if she wanted to succeed.  Can you guess what happened next?

Two of the administrators of the group accused this member of having a bad attitude, and not supporting the first member’s dream.

In other words, the administrators of the authors and writers group wanted the set-up for failure by way of the bubblewrap mindset to be respected.  Heaven help the person who dared challenge that bubblewrap by offering constructive criticism.

This isn’t the only instance I’ve seen over the years.  More and more people are willing to buy into pipe dreams and fewer and fewer are willing to put the real effort into working their way to a laudable goal or achievement.  They want the participation award just for showing up without having to meet the expectation of doing the work to get to where they want to go in life.

What happens to those who dare point out that the emperor (so to speak) isn’t wearing any clothes?  They find themselves accused of being haters with bad attitudes.

Reality doesn’t care about being politically correct.  Neither does the Universe, and neither do Mother Earth or Mother Nature.  They don’t congregate at the corner of ‘nice try‘ and ‘good for you.’  They’re the originators of ‘not everything revolves around your belly button‘ and ‘you aren’t so special that there isn’t someone more special than you.’

These days the digital world as well as the real world is filled with people who purport to be far more amazing than they are, and who claim that they have achieved far more than they have ever attempted.

They rely on social media acceptance and popularity to validate who they are, and busy themselves trying to trump the outrageous claims of their online friends and acquaintances whose accomplishments may not be what they seem to be.  Selfies and rampant narcissism have replaced the gentler attributes that are responsible for molding a person into someone of value in society.

Success is a wonderful thing to experience.  So is failure, because failure determines what comes next and is a testament to your character.

If you let failure keep you down, then you can claim that participation award.  You can say you tried, and you did your best, and everyone will pat you on the back and tell you how amazing it was that you tried at all.

But if you decide to build upon failure, you’ll get back up and prove failure wrong.  You won’t need to claim you tried, and you won’t have to say you did your best because you’ll still be slogging it out in the trenches.  You won’t need anyone patting you on the back, and no one will have to tell you how amazing it is that you’re trying to do what you’re trying to do.

Best of all, you won’t be smothered and swallowed up by bubblewrap that stifles ambition and drive.  You won’t be surrounded by, dare I say it, losers because those who get back on their feet and fight their way out of the bubblewrap — even when they fail — are anything but losers.  They’re still running the race.

Yes, those who turn their backs on bubblewrap society still believe in the old-school values of survival of the fittest.  Living evolution style.  Embracing learning and adapting, and rejecting all things bubblewrap.

Nobody likes to hear when they don’t meet the mark, but you won’t meet the mark if you get comfortable in that bubblewrap suit while you’re living in that bubblewrap house on Bubblewrap Avenue.

Elyse Bruce


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