The company I currently work for set out to do an ad campaign on positive social media messages. They are, in theory, combating the negativity of social media that is currently on display. I think it’s actually a veiled anti-Trump message, but who can really argue that social media can be very negative.
My Facebook and Twitter account is actually filled with positivity. I follow a lot of great Catholic thinkers and news organizations that are filled with the Good News. Perhaps our social media accounts should be like our real friends, where we need to be careful of the company we keep!
Nevertheless, back to my company’s ad campaign. They put a big sign in one of the hallways that is in the shape of a conversation box, like you’d see in a comic strip. The sign states: “Smile, you are great!” My first thought was to take a selfie-picture of me below the sign and send it to my wife and caption it: “see”!
My next thought was, to scratch out “you are” and insert “God is”. “Smile, God is Great!” That’s right, you should smile because God is great, but don’t think of this in terms of the world. God is great, but that doesn’t mean you are going to have a comfortable life. Life is messy and it can be very messy. If a loved one passes, no one would expect you to smile. If you get fired from your job because your boss is a jerk and co-workers were gossiping about you maliciously, it’s ok to cry. I don’t like to be told that I should just go joyfully smiling because God loves me. After all, Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb. “And Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) Jesus wept because he does not take delight in our suffering even if He knows it’s for a greater glory (the raising of Lazarus from the dead). To appropriately deal with this world, we must cling to the Father and our Blessed Trinity. We can only endure this life by knowing in our hearts that at the end of the door at life’s hallway stands Jesus, ready to embrace us for fighting the good fight.
My next thought on the sign was what if someone really terrible walks by? We hate to think that it’s possible that someone really terrible exists, but they do in fact walk the earth. There are terrible people. The sign is indiscriminate, and we just know life is not like that in fact. In the US, we state, all men are created equal, but they are not equal in the fact that all men are as good as the next. No, all men are created with rights and in those rights, they are equal, but clearly, not all men are equal. All people deserve dignity and respect and certain inalienable rights.
Finally, I rested on, the sign should express, yes, we are great, Thanks be to God. We are loved and that is what makes us great. To define how uniquely we are all great, we can only come back to the fact that we were made out of love, in spite of our sinful nature handed down to us by our first parents, Adam and Eve. We are sinners and we are loved. There’s an endless supply of mercy from our great Savior and that makes us great. We are not like the animals of the earth, we are more loved by our God then those creatures, and we are therefore great. So yes, the sign is right, but not complete.
“You are great because God loves you; give all thanks to God!” That’s how the sign should read. Perhaps I won’t let HR know though…
I have clearly overthought this sign!
Be well and God Bless!