Saturday, October 4, 2008
The Lens Crafter
About 3 months ago, we were fortunate enough to be able buy a new Honda Civic. A 5-speed, which I really enjoy driving, much to my middle daughter Becca 's dismay (she just turned 16 and hasn't quite mastered a manual transmission). It's sort of a charcoal grey and is a lot of fun.
Almost immediately, however, I noticed that the number of charcoal grey Honda Civics just like mine exploded. Whereas before, I almost never saw these Civics, now they were in parking lots, on highways, even in my neighborhood. How could this be? I pondered: Am I a trendsetter who could change the buying habits of an entire metropolitan area almost overnight?
If my hunch was correct, people need to know.
So I called Honda headquarters telling them, "I, Curtis Buthe, am a one-man marketing machine. Because of my Civic purchase, there are now dozens, perhaps hundreds or even thousands of grey charcoal Honda Civics on the road." I could tell by the silence on the other end that the guy was intrigued. I suggested that perhaps they could test my marketing-engine horsepower by presenting me with a blue convertible Honda S2000 (MSRP $37,000), for advertising research purposes only, of course . At that point, we were somehow disconnected. I called back and got voice-mail.
Since then, a few people have told me about similar experiences. Not with Honda, but with the sense of suddenly noticing that everyone seems to have whatever new thing they acquire. One friend said that when they wore a Duck's hat, they suddenly noticed a lot of other Duck's hats. He went so far as to suggest that my perception is what changed, not the fact that more people actually have Honda Civics. In other words these friends don't actually believe that I am a trendsetter, but (get this) they simply think that I've started to notice more charcoal grey Honda Civics on the road because I purchased one. Ha!
If this lame idea were true - that what I see and notice around me changes depending on what I have or what I value - then that could have huge ramifications for how I see the world around me, and even impact how I live. Sort of like putting on a different pair of glasses with which to view the world. For instance, if I were to ask God to help me see the world through compassionate lenses, then I would notice ways to care for people.
If I ask God to help me see the world through a lens of those in poverty, I might use my resources differently.
If I ask God to help me see people as he sees them, then . . .
Naa . . . can't be.
I'm going for a drive.