Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Nobody's watching

I have come to the strange conclusion that the main thing wrong with Western society today can be summed up by the "dance like nobody's watching" attitude.

At first glance, the exhaltation sounds completely reasonable and fitting for our times. We spend too much time worrying what others think. We need to do what's right for us. Right here and right now. Don't worry about what others think. Do what you think is right. Do it now and do it like nobody's watching.

Dancing is a relatively neutral activity to use as the example to prove the efficacy of the theory. Even if you are a bad dancer, dancing badly rarely hurts another human being. It may offend some dance snobs, but no real damage. Maybe a bruised toe now and again or an elbow in the face...but nothing earth-shattering.

But extend the philosophy into the rest of life and something weird starts to happen...
Pick your nose like nobody's watching?
F*rt like nobody can smell it?
Kill all your political enemies like nobody's watching (they aren't...because you banned the BBC or the www)?

Where is the line?

And there's the problem. The philosophy relies on every individual setting their own limits of what is acceptable to do "like nobody's watching". And every individual sets different limits. One dances like nobody's watching, one picks their nose, and Mugabe does what he does...all of it justified by their own limits and moral codes (even the lack of a moral code is a moral code in itself).

What's this got to do with losing weight?

Eat cake like nobody's watching.
Skive off the gym like nobody's watching.
Drink a second beer in front of the TV (and go on, open the bag of crisps...nobody's watching).

Sound familiar? "Dance like nobody's watching" creeps into your life and takes over and makes just about everything acceptable as long as nobody's watching.

That's why blogging works. Somebody is watching. Or can watch at least.

So eat every mouthful as though millions are watching.
Exercise like millions are watching.
Blog like millions are reading.

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