Monday, October 29, 2012

Leading with Hyperbole



“It was only a little tsunami” said my daughter as she reported on the effects of the undersea earthquake.  And my son who had recently gone to Costco reported seeing empty shelves from the panic of a super storm warning destined to hit the east coast, said,” it’s only raining a little”.  I guess you had to be there to be satisfied that all was well.  But from a parents perspective there is no such thing as a little tsunami or an insignificant super storm.  To parents the level of worry is profound when mixed with the hype of the media and the need for sensationalism.

We are all prone to exaggeration, that’s what makes a good story a memorable one.  Without some level of embellishment Hollywood would be nothing more than a place on the map, good weather aside still just a place between two other nice places to live.  Novels would be pamphlets for information only and the TV would be nothing but commercials.  Come to think of it commercials would be a photograph of the product and nothing more.   Wow, I don’t think I can even imagine a life without some kind of magnification of the truth.

It’s fun to exaggerate the truth and to embellish our little white lies, promote facts not in evidence and stretch the veracity of unequivocal facts, but when those actions cause others to perceive the truth differently perhaps we have gone too far?  A little more fact a little less deception would be nice.  More truth, less fraud would also be a good thing.  The problem however is the projected perception of those who spin and weave their magical but marginal tales; they would forever be forced into the stark, bright, light of reality, shattering those perceptions for all to see, leaving a shell of a person where once a manufactured hero used to be. 

Who would our heroes be?  Who would be able to stand up to the scrutiny of those glaring overheads, erasing every shadow of untruth?  Would we have heroes, I think we would have more.  When the truth is told the unsung, hidden champions of everyday life would finally be recognizable.  The conquests of honesty and integrity would be coupled with the true gargantuan efforts of heroism, acts of valor that surround us each and every day, by the very people we often forget to notice.  Our husbands, our wives, the solders in the field, the servicemen of all walks of life doing what has to be done so the rest of us can continue dreaming of surviving those super storms and  life threatening tsunamis.