Are You a Kool-Aid Drinker?
November 5, 2009 4 Comments
I am. Let me explain.
We tend to talk about “true believers” as those who have drunk the Kool-Aid, with the obvious tie-in to Jim Jones and his followers. It’s an apt analogy, however unfortunate the original incident – one who has drunk the Kool-Aid actually, in this sense, is so convinced of something, that they move forward with conviction where others would hold back.
Now there are people who abandon all common sense and do ridiculous and harmful things because of “true belief.” No matter how much Kool-Aid you drink and how sincere your belief that gravity is suspended in your particular case, you’ll still be picked up with a spatula if you jump off a skyscraper. That’s the dumb Kool-Aider.
But, there are also those who feign enthusiasm and commitment, for as long as it seems to be prudent and fashionable to do so. Think of the car salesman who vigorously sells the marvelous virtues of Subaru, then loses his job, is picked up by the Toyota dealer down the street, and appears to have Camry-Aid in his veins the next week. That’s not a true believer – that’s the faux Kool-Aider.
An intelligent Kool-Aid drinker takes a reasonable look at what seems right and true and good, and out of a deep sense of conviction, puts all the chips in. It’s not Kool-Aid in this case – it’s vintage Bordeaux, and the commitment is not one born out of convenience or happenstance, but genuine belief.
My enthusiasm for Social Networking is Bordeaux-ish, and I am quite convinced that in many of my valued friends found through blogging and tweeting and meetups, I see the same thing. With realistic understanding, we embrace the new world of networked communications, not because it’s a panacea and the provider of whiter teeth and longer life, but because it’s powerful and transformative. We believe in (as Chris Brogan might put it) “human business” and are seeking to practice it.
And that’s why we tend to have such a visceral reaction against the Dumb or the Faux. There’s no need to be unrealistic, and we certainly abominate the attempts to corrupt these approaches with cheap sales pitches and scams. We’re not into cheap perfume or streetwalker dress. We just want to know each other, learn together, and change the world. That’s not so bad.
So, for all that, let’s enjoy the Kool-Aid together. Better still, let’s hoist a glass of Bordeaux today. It’s a great time to be alive!
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