Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Walked & Found: Persona

Found: Plastic with a question.

Some time ago I came across a piece of black plastic lying in the street.

I peered down at the 4 words printed in white letters and thought... is this some 'deep' message from above, and if so, does the universe expect an answer right now?

Just when I thought I had already evolved into somebody... a somebody who's out walking in desperate need of exercise.

So I left my 'find' where I found it and moved on. On towards the next block when curiosity lured me back to the spot where I previously stood.

This time, instead of just peering, I picked up the plastic and flipped it over for clues.

Lucky Chase!... for possessing the payable portion of a Dick's Sporting Goods gift card while I'm left with the discard and a cryptic message asking... "Who Will You Be?"

Fortunately for me, it didn't take long to solve the mystery. Once home and a few swift strokes on a keyboard, here's what I found...

Women now comprise half the shoppers purchasing sporting goods either for their families or for comfortable, stylish activewear for themselves. And because of this new trend, in 2015, Dick's Sporting Goods launched its first ad campaign geared specifically towards women, consisting of a 60-second spot followed by eight 15-second vignettes highlighting the challenges and rewards women face in balancing life and fitness.

According to Dick's chief marketing officer, Lauren Hobart, "Women juggle a lot. There's a lot women need to get done in any given day, so the choice to work out and the choice to fit in fitness is a challenge for people. They have to find time. This campaign celebrates those decisions, and celebrates people for making them."

"Who will you be?" asks the campaign. "Every run. Every workout. Every day. Every choice. Every season starts at Dick's Sporting Goods."

Interesting concept. Though somewhat wasted on me for I'm not big on sports, exercise or television commercials. I am however, intrigued by words and the psychological-sounding query... "Who Will You Be?"

While searching this slogan, I came across a book with similar words titled: Just Who Will You Be? published in 2008, written by Maria Shriver after having been asked to give the commencement speech at her nephew's high school graduation.

Here's an excerpt from the introduction...

"Not too long ago, I was whining to my teenage daughter, "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up!"

She took me by the shoulders, looked me dead in the eye, and said, "I hate to break it to you mom, but this is it for you! You are all grown up! You're cooked!"

I jumped out of my chair. "Not so!" I shot back. "You may think I'm over, but I'm not done yet! I'm still a work in progress, and I'm writing my next act now."

I told her, "You wait and see just who I'll be!"

When my daughter left the room, I wondered, "Is she right? Is this really it? Am I cooked? Am I over? Or do I get another shot at asking what do I want to be when I grow up?"

In having to come up with words of encouragement to give young adults just starting out in the world when she was struggling herself, Ms. Shriver came to realize...

"That asking ourselves not just what we want to be, but who we want to be is important at every stage of our lives, not just when we're starting out in the world. That's because in a way, we're starting out fresh in the world every single day."

"What matters most to me now is what I expect of myself. What matters most to me now is that I know myself... what my heart feels, what my inner voice is telling me.

So just who am I?"

A question like so many other questions I asked myself days after finding that piece of plastic in the street, when once again I was out walking and...

Found: A drawing of a mask stapled to a telephone pole.

And I asked...

Who are you?
And why do you look so surprised?
Who made you and why?
Why on a pole for all to see?
I don't know... you're a mystery to me.

However, I do know a few things about masks and personality.

The word 'personality' comes from the Latin word 'persona' which means 'mask'.

And the persona, according to Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, is the social face the individual presents to the world... "A kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual."

So the study of personality is understood by studying the 'masks' that people wear.

In short... our public vs private selves.

Which may explain the enormous appeal of wearing a decorative mask... the ease and thrill of reinventing ourselves while hiding our true identities. 

Personally, I love Venetian masks, the costumes that go with them, and the unique personas of those wearing them.

Here are a few masks with unique personalities from Carnevale di Venezia...

Photo Credit: Yen Baet

Photo Credit: Stefano Rellandini

Photo Credit: Scott Stulberg



Here are a few links you might find interesting:

View Dick's Sporting Goods one-minute add campaign and their 15-second vignettes (buttons located on the left of the screen) here.

Read Maria Shriver's "My Pledge" from her book Just Who Will You Be? here.

A video of people wearing Venetian masks and costumes here.

Learn how Venetian masks are made here.

And for some fun and personally revealing information:

A color personality test here.

From 'You Just Get Me'... Rate Your Own Personality here.

Are You An Optimist, Pessimist, or Realist? here.

Dedicated to my very dear and 'private' friend
who passed on August 18, 2016
affectionately nicknamed, 'Denisee Pie'
of brilliant mind, big heart, and kind soul,
who enjoyed many of life's mixed pleasures:

Health food, the occasional chocolate croissant, ice cream bar, and fruit tart.
Long walks, bike rides, and times as a couch potato.
Classics and 'trashy' novels.
Fine Art and childhood TV reruns.
Expensive shoes.
And paper plates, "Cause life's too short to wash dishes."

Thank you for more than 4 decades of constant optimism, enthusiasm, inspiration, sincerity, undying devotion and support.

The loss is great.
Having had you in my life, greater.

Peace to you dear friend, who shall forever be remembered.

XOX... Dyan