Being Remarkable…But, For What?


By Robin Smith 

In today’s culture, it’s of growing importance to be remarkable. Social media is fueling this, along with the belief that one’s identity is what they’ve done or their current behavior, not who one is created to be along with their potential. 

Remarkable is defined as “worthy of attention; striking” by Merriam-Webster dictionary.

So, what do we deem as remarkable in our kids, our community, our own selves in this day? What do we give our attention and praise as striking and worthy of being replicated?

Actions we devote time to and replicate are those that reveal our values. Today, so much effort and time is centered on likes, shares, “friends,” follows and comments on social media platforms. Behavior that “goes viral” establishes a notoriety among a fixed group of followers that create a pseudo-community.

Obviously, living in a virtual reality, being talked about and recognized within that same virtual community is worthy of the attention of a mass of people.

Yet is that truly remarkable? Does any of this actually add value to one’s being, fulfill an authentic purpose that yields dividends in life?

Rather than achievement, the social media culture has created the desire to perform and demand praise for that performance. Remarkability is rooted in growing one’s skills, intellect and capabilities to critically think for oneself, to build on successes through work and accomplishment. 

In contrast, this fake community rabidly seeks public notice and manufactured praise for theatrics, sowing seeds of some imaginary existence that doesn’t work in real life and has yielded a bumper crop of confused people.

Confused about their own identify, confused about what actual work is, confused about accomplishment with entitled expectations that are not realistic.

Rather than spend time and space on that which has sown confusion, let’s take a moment to do as writer Alex Haley, who authored Roots: The Saga of an American Family, has heralded. Based on Ephesians 4:29 which instructs us to “…not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up…,” Haley adapted a slogan: Find the good and praise it.

So, here’s to the men and women who get up every single day looking to do their best; to the moms, dads, grandparents and family members who stand strong and courageous (as directed in Joshua 1) in a hostile culture to avoid the culture that has sown confusion and conflict. Here’s to those who strive and work to stretch their money further than their month of bills to provide for their families. 

Here’s to the parents who are determined to make a way that’s better for their own kids than they had because that’s what America permits, and God promises (Jeremiah 29:11). Here’s praise to students who see that education is one of the critical keys on the keyring of life that opens locked doors, regardless of race, gender, or wealth.

Be remarkable by finding the good and praise that which is good, decent and grows the same.