I've got a great idea of how to make a million bucks. Hire a packaging firm to come up with a sexy looking bottle with a great logo and a health-centric marketing story. Then, to the empty bottle, add some powdered electrolytes, minerals, vitamins, and a few more secret ingredients. Sell it for $5 as the secret to a healthier life. Just add water. With all the hype and hucksters trying to get their mitts on our wallets I am surprised no one's yet had the cajones to try and sell bottles of dehydrated water. But, this isn't a post on how to make a million bucks or the silly idea of dehydrated water. It's a post about cutting through marketing cruft; sensationalist headlines; ignoring the loud voices that attract our attention for the wrong reasons. In a world where increasingly everyone has a public voice, it should come as no surprise that those we were once able to ignore can now exert their influence. How to get things back to where they were? Beware loudness and the unbelievable. The louder the voice, the more sensational the claims, the more guarded I become. Ignoring the spectacular takes practice. From our earliest days, we're trained to listen to those in charge: the alphas; the loud ones; the angry ones. It isn't till later in life we come to respect the calm and quiet of the reasoned and informed. Whether it is marketing claims in the HiFi industry, politicians pounding their fists in anger, an email with clickbait subject matter, or the obnoxious neighbor down the street, listen at a distance until you can quietly decide if the message is of interest or not. This isn't to say loud voices don't matter. They do, especially when there's an ongoing injustice like we see in our country right now. Loud voices are often the only methods people have to be heard. And we need to hear them. Take a deep breath before clicking on the tempting message. Even a moment's reflection can help quell the noise that surrounds us. If we want a saner, quieter world, it starts with us.
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