What I Hate About Medium That You Probably Hate, Too.
There’s a pebble on a beach out there, somewhere, that you alone can find.
Everything you love, chocolate, friendship, being owned by a pet — even your own children, — everything you love, has more than one aspect to it.
Life isn’t black and white. Even though our brains try to simplify everything by finding patterns and seeking yes/no, rich/poor, angel/demon, and good/bad binary definitions, life is more complex than that.
I do love that writing for Medium lets me say stuff, but I don’t love that I work hard writing on Medium for no, or little pay. I do love that positive stories circulate out there. I do love that innovative ideas zing around the world with our clicks. I do love that creativity spurs more creativity. I don’t the love the idea of spurs. Maybe sticks and carrots. But casting out a piece of your mind that is exchanged for a grain of immortality that you authored, is far better.
Again, these things are nuanced, intricate, beautiful, and prolific. You can put an idea out there into the universe. You can stand on Newton’s shoulders on a beach blanket with baskets full of carrots, spurs, sticks, sand grains, binary evil and good. Or not.
Spoiler alert: There is more to love about Thrive Global than there is to hate.
There is too much to take in. Too much to love. And too few people able to find your particularly, unique story even though your story is probably worth knowing.
Here is a small example. I began by writing a poem inspired by International Women’s Day and the explosive power of people coming together for the Women’s March. For some reason, Arianna Huffington, at least in part, inspired the poem so I sent it to her.
We all kind of assume she hangs around the Huffington Post offices all day, taking courageous power naps, looking professional — yet sensational, affirming that diversity is divine, and inspiring cowards like me to become superheroes.
I was shocked to get a response, but found out a week later it was a generic directive for writing on Medium. Probably, I was cerebrally bruised a bit to find Ms. Huffington had likely never even seen her poem, but then again, when my cynical senses kicked back in, I realized that there is likely a zero chance of any other outcome.
It’s like your vote. You may feel you need to be heard, you want a voice, a meaning. But the fate of the living world involves all of us, not just the ever-spinning, self-centric universe that falsely suggests you are clearly the center of all things. (It’s possible Ms. Huffington, and a few movers like her, are at the center for a few seconds in the vast arc of time, however.) The point is your vote is not about your voice. It’s about the world we create daily that we should prefer to endure, even at a personal cost to us.
Especially at a personal cost to us. Until we all recognize our shared belonging, which requires some effort, we will continue to mess up life on Earth. We can reach out, but rarely find one another.
Back to the example, forgive my digression. That’s another thing I hate about Medium stories; writers get caught in self-referential by-catch nets that fling us out of a shared ocean to suffocate. That great ocean of truth, meanwhile, lays undiscovered all around us.
Since the publication of the poem, I have found a teeny weeny, little voice on Medium. I was directed, with my own Christyl Rivers brand, which is “Ecopsychology will soon save the world,” to Thrive Global.
It seemed like a perfect fit. Then I sat back and waited a few weeks, but have never found more a Trump-size handful of views. Which is to say, a pretty dismal performance.
I am not a born marketeer. I don’t even know if that’s a word. Maybe it should be marketer? I feel inspired to write every day, and I always have, but very little of my writing goes the extra mile of being marketed.
In other words, more of us tell, than sell.
Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe I just haven’t assessed, or divined the final burst of self-actualization our world may yet obtain by having shared voices creating a cacophony of boisterous, brawling and/or banal essaying, raving, ranting, or screeching into the void.
Thrive Global has a mission statement to seek out the greatest benefits to help people thrive. These benefits should be backed up by science, proven performance, and all the enthusiasm of an inspiring Pepsi commercial — only effective.
Thrive readers and writers share a passion to be thriving the freak out of everything we do. There is a Marcus Aurelius quote, that to paraphrase tells you that your own mind, not some soothing landscape, ocean retreat, mountain hideaway, or refreshing oasis, is where you will find peace.
Something tells me, however, that Emperor Aurelius did not have his morning meditation crushed by the unnerving noise of dump trucks backing up, toxic, belching traffic rollicking down all the roads that lead to Rome, or the snarl of chain saws, pounding of jackhammers, or ever-burbling, intrusive bleeps of smart phones.
As a stoic philosopher and educated man, Aurelius was probably a better emperor than Orange Julius Caesar, but his quote about inner mindfulness does not include his full context of being both inspired and instructed by Nature. Newton says it better.
Mindfulness is a wonderful thing. It truly is. But there is not a false dilemma to mindfulness that says you must choose between calming places and a soothing, inner mindscape.
You will do much better to have both. You really will. Certainly, there are harsh moments and raucous stress we must mindfully escape sometimes, but you do not have to choose immersion in madness to experience the calm of the living world internally, or externally. Go into the woods, deliberately.
Until human beings reconnect to the living world, in fact, we may well never find the inner peace we need. Mindfulness is not just some mental trap door to drop out of a turbid world. It can also be most beneficial when we actually experience the buzz of bees, wisp of breezes, taste of sunlight, and tang of spring fertility that is our life-giving natural biosphere.
To my mind, if just one person interprets going inward for sanctuary as disconnecting from the three-dimensional world, that person is led the wrong direction. As Einstein so correctly observed, our separation from the natural world is an illusion. Going too far inward is disconnecting from all those millions of fellows out there in the blogosphere that need to find human unity for planetary survival.
To summarize here are three things we hate about Medium. We can tell, but not sell. We can have a voice, but not much visibility. We can promote thriving business, recreation, and commerce, but we cannot usually attain two-way, complete connections to find one another in the natural world in which we evolved.
And there is nothing more thrilling than a complete connection. It’s what life is for, after all.
Please share by clicking the little heart, and leaving feedback, the life you save may be the world