Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard


By now most of us know we are almost always within capturing distance of a camera. Cell phones, pocket still and video cameras, highway eyes -. are recording where we are, who we are with, how we look and behave. Gradually we are getting a sample of how celebrities have felt for decades.

When we think about it, we are probably not pleased, even if we are gorgeous, well mannered and being model citizens. We usually prefer to choose the time and place of our photo shoots!

Privacy from the camera's eye is a thing of the past. Knowing that, we might as well consider the advantages it offers us as well as the drawbacks.

Everyone else sees us from all angles. Maybe it is time we take a look at ourselves. Cameras catch our full body picture, whether a pretty sight or not. They record for all time our rantings as well as our most eloquent words. They have recorded our finest philanthropies and will stumble on our most blatant transgressions.

There is no more powerful incentive to losing weight than seeing our whole selves in a mirrored wall, rather than a closeup of our smiling face as we comb our hair just so. And, while we all love to remember our finest hours, we might just have ignored our worst. It will take all our narcissism to avoid knowing ourselves as time goes on under the watchful eye of the ever-present lens.

I'd hate to have an epiphany watching myself on You Tube. It's much better to seek a realistic view of ourselves in bites we can chew.

There is a positive side to almost everything and I believe our opportunity for self improvement is at an all time high. Who among us has really seen what others see about us? For myself, I want to be a better person - for myself, for my family, for my friends and co-workers. Do you?

I want to take learning about myself gradually, but steadily. I'd hate to have an epiphany watching myself on You Tube. It's much better to seek a realistic view of ourselves in bites we can chew.

I remember taking a super 8 clip long ago of a simple scene that one person found horrifying when seeing it. I was rather stunned as I thought it was one of the person's nicer moments. Since then I have wished many times that I had an audio/video clip that revealed behaviors about which someone managed to remain oblivious. No doubt people have thought the same about my behavior.

The good news is we have opportunities galore to recognize what is lovely about ourselves and what is unlovely. Few of us get a pass for perfect behavior. While we are watching others have the opportunity to make positive changes, let us spend more time on self improvement.

Do you remember the Albert Brooks/Meryl Streep movie, Defending Your Life? The premise was that each of us must sit and watch movie clips of our behavior at the turning points in our lives before we were assigned to Heaven or Hell. The opportunity to defend our behavior was hard to do after seeing it in living color. It appears that this scenario is becoming a possibility. Let's try to rewrite our script before it is too late.

Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.