Cubs win! The city is bursting with celebration and joy. You get on the L and everybody cheers and bursts into song (Go, Cubs, go!). You ride by on your bike wearing a Cubs shirt and you get gleeful cries of “woo-hoo!” from passersby.
It’s a Utopia, and we’re living in it, right now.
If a political troll happens to hit the internet when we’re talking about the Cubs, we tell them this isn’t a place for that behavior. We’re just here to enjoy our celebration.
Five million people in this great city gathered to watch the Cubs parade celebration today, and we all got along. EVEN THOUGH, I’m sure, some are voting for Clinton and some are voting for Trump. We kept our politics to ourselves and just let everybody be free to ENJOY LIFE and treasure the moment (see photo, above).
So, let’s talk about what this Cubs win can teach us about the media (the subject of this blog) . . . Some say the people get the media that they deserve. That we, in our smallness and intolerance, get more and more of the news reporting we deserve.
We deserve great moments of joy, sublime celebrations of victory and unity. Like today, in Chicago.
And guess what. Good celebrations are good for business, too. For example:
- Chicago Cubs Celebration: the largest sports celebration in history (estimated crowds over five million — reportedly the 7th largest gathering in human history!!) source
- World Series Game 7 Cubs win: the largest baseball audience in 25 years (forty million viewers)
- Small businesses: neighborhood bars and restaurants, Cubs apparel, public transportation all setting records
We don’t “deserve” divisive and incendiary media. The media business may think it’s making money, but it’s actually just chasing money. It doesn’t bring people out to celebrate and spend money; it actually ends up costing money by isolating us, making us ill with stress, inciting violence and amassing all the associated costs that spring from that darkness.
So, applying this lesson to media coverage of political campaigns and taking the bigger view, we must realize that there is no true victory in disparaging or demonizing your opponent or the people following them. The candidates speak for themselves, just as in sports the opponent’s performance speaks for itself. Choose the team you want to root for and enjoy!
I know you’re probably saying “that’s naive” (is it?) or that there really is evil out there (is there?), or maybe you’re just resigned to the fact that government/society/fill-in-the-blanks just doesn’t work (I feel your pain).
Yet I assert that this is as true as any law in the universe: Anything that divides us is going to be less successful than what unites us.
As Theo Epstein, Cubs President, said at the rally today, “The one thing that’s been proven true in baseball and in life is that human beings can accomplish more for others and for the group than they can for themselves.”
Because only when we are united can we fully come alive and experience the freedom and joy on a mass scale that I believe each of us deeply, deeply craves.
Remember the day we came together for the Chicago Cubs.
We don’t deserve the worst of humanity. We deserve the best.