Attention and Recognition
The need for attention and recognition runs deep within each of us. It starts early in childhood and if it is not sufficiently met with love it can persist throughout our lives.
The need to feel recognized can manifest in strange ways and sometimes it takes on bizarre forms. Right now, countless people everywhere are crying out to be noticed. They dress outlandishly, put rings in the most unlikely places and tattoos all over their bodies.
They get onto stages and sing out their desperation to the unseen millions who clamour to listen to them and identify with them.
What is it that all these millions have in common?
They are trying to express themselves in the singing of a universal song.
And the words of the song? Basically they’re about the desire for attention and recognition – a need to be heard and noticed.
The Fear of Obscurity and Oblivion
While we may not realize it consciously our deep need to be recognized is really a symptom of a fear – the fear of obscurity and oblivion.
Maybe we believe that if we make enough noise, we can chase away our personal demons. But in reality we know that dressing outlandishly or rapping about our woes or driving fast cars won’t allay our deeper fears.
We can only hope to defeat obscurity by finding the voice within. Because like an iceberg, the biggest and strongest part of ourselves is deep below the surface. And we can only address that inner part of ourselves on an individual basis.
The Search for Meaning
Viktor Frankl said that our most important mission in life was to find meaning. It’s a thought that was immortalized by Ann Frank who at the young age of 13 found her voice and the deepest level of meaning in her diary and though she died in a German concentration camp, she conquered oblivion forever.
But we each have a different take on meaning; so that the only way to discover it is to delve deep within ourselves to find the inner voice that is capable of expressing it.
Some people find meaning in service to others. To others the answer lies in creativity. And sometimes if we listen very carefully, it can come to us lightly on the wings of a song.
The truth is that in finding our true voice we discover meaning and purpose so that the fear dissipates and the need for attention is subdued.