Disneyland is a paradise for kids. All the fun, food, and entertainment all catered toward them. One of our favorite things to do at Disneyland is take pictures with our favorite characters. Goofy has always been my guy. In fact, I have a great picture of my kids and I with him on my Facebook. Goofy is a 6 foot tall talking dog that runs into situations that are hilarious. The thing about Goofy is he’s not real. He is a character with an actor “playing” the part. There is nothing wrong with playing a character for work or fun, but what about the character we play in the game of life?
I am guilty, guilty, guilty of playing many roles. I was, for many years the “super single dad“. My high flying antics included taking kids to the dentist, doctor appointments, church, and school plays. I have chronicled my adventures on my Facebook page. Before my heroic adventures as a single dad, I was the super “victim husband“. Everything was my [ex] wife’s fault and I was just trying, heroically, to keep it all together. I spent a lot of energy griping and complaining rather than listening and seeking to understand. There are characters everywhere. The “super single mom” posting pictures of soccer practice. The “super athlete teen” with all his trophies and championships, and the “tortured soul teenage girl” with black lipstick and and angrier than Avril Lavigne look.
Many of these characters are important and inspiring. Once again, the problem remains that they are not real. We where these badges, all polished and shiny for the world to see. We have 275 friends on Facebook (of whom 2 send you a Christmas card). When I played the “super single dad” hero, I posted pictures of myself doing cool things with the kids. The little red box in the corner would light up with a 4 or a 5 and I would be validated. Sometimes the photo upload session happened at a stoplight, or a school event, or the dinner table. The world needed to see my character. Lights, camera, action. See the irony?
When you play the character you were born to play with authenticity and intentionality, it isn’t “play” at all.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing on Facebook. As with anything in the pursuit of awesomeness, you must be intentional and in control. Are you posting a picture to share something, for laughs, or perhaps memories? Excellent. Are you seeking more? What if no one “liked” the picture of you and your daughter at choir? Would that diminish the value of your time together? My challenge to you and myself in this New Year is to be aware of WHY you are doing things. Do things with purpose, love, authenticity, and a giving spirit. Click here to read my article on authenticity. Be present. Maybe even leave the iPhone in the car.
What character have you played the most this year?