Being present in the light

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One of the most memorable sayings of the last half century was expressed by the visual artist, Andy Warhol. “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes” was quoted in a programme for an exhibition of his work in 1968. Some may wish to debate the point, but it is highly likely that everyone wants to be acknowledged for being present in this world, at some point in their lives.

There is nothing wrong with wanted one’s presence to be felt, within reason and with a sense of proportion. It would be rather complicated to have a system where every single person could step forward to be seen and heard by everyone else. This probably accounts for the fact that there is something random about the way that the focus can move from one person to another.

If we were able to be as democratic and fair as possible about giving each person their 15 minutes, what would be the most sensible way to use it? Each person will have his or her own opinion about this, but it does make sense to aim to use the time and space to do something of benefit to as many of us as possible.

When we see folks in positions of authority behaving in emotionally needy ways, simply because they want more than their fair share of attention, how do we expect the young and impressionable to absorb and process what they have witnessed?

Thankfully, there is a natural human tendency to be bored by the oversaturation of any kind of presence, as some public figures are discovering, the hard way.