Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Then A Hero Comes Along
As I write this my dear girlfriends I am “hanging out” at the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. Listen to me sounding all casual about it…. Truth be told- I am a giddy schoolgirl.
I grew up watching this network- it is as much a part of my cultural identity as the pages of Vogue magazine are a part of my closet.
As a kid it was Mr. Dressup, the Friendly Giant and Fraggle Rock. Nights were spent snuggled up on the couch next to my Dad watching the National with Nolton Nash or the news with Barbara Frum. Years passes and then came Mr. Peter Mansbridge or as we called him in my house- the Wizard of Oz.
From the Nature of things, with David Suzuki to the Fifth Estate the CBC was my national network and a part of who I was.
My parents watched Air Farce and I became hooked on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
Now Rick Mercer makes me laugh out loud and George Strombolopolous, Canada’s boyfriend is my boyfriend too..
So here I sit at the CBC for two days of News reporting as their “resident health expert”. Make no mistake, I’ve done the research and this really is one of those days where I do know what I am talking about. I am trying not to take things too seriously and I have of course brought enough footwear to get me through the stories.
But here I am a little schoolgirl giddy at it all. Nerves are a given but on top of it all is the excitement and the shear fun at being with my network heros.
WE all need someone to look up to in this ever uncertain world don’t we? Whether it’s our fellow girlfriend, our iconic television heroes past and present or my personal favourite- Manolo Blahnik- we all need an idol that inspires something better in us.
Last week my girlfriends I had the chance to spend a little time up close with a few of my heroes and I came out the other side a little more inspired and of course a little more enthused to be a part of the good in the world- whatever that may be.
A paper published in 1997 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, entitled, "Superstars and me: Predicting the impact of role models on the self", shows there is something to my little experience last week.
The authors propose that superstars are most likely to affect self-views when they are considered relevant. Relevant superstars provoke self-enhancement and inspiration when their success seems attainable but self-deflation when it seems unattainable. Participants' self-views were affected only when the star's domain of excellence was self-relevant. Relevant stars provoked self-enhancement and inspiration when their success seemed attainable in that participants either still had enough time to achieve comparable success or believed their own abilities could improve over time.
I other words... I identify with Steven and Chris- those are MY boys and as such- they make me want to be better. Rick Mercer doesn't just makes me laugh, he makes me think- about MY country and MY actions.
A star's greatness affects our beliefs when we identify with them- when they speak TO us. Huh. Sounds good to me...
As for Peter Mansbridge? He Peter Freakin Mansbridge. He IS the wizard and the voice of this nation- I'm not being dramatic- I'm keeping it real. The Psychological science shows he really does help us identify and improve.
Forgive me, my girlfriends, if I abandon the science for just a few moments. In medical trials we have a saying when there is a single case study to show a certain benefit for a treatment- we call it our “N” (as in the letter N) of ONE.
This week I don’t have a randomized controlled trial on the evidence of heroes in our every day life. This week I have my N of ONE…. Me.
As for my clinical trial- it was truly fabulous. We live in a cynical world- much of what we see and do never really makes sense and most things don’t happen for a reason.
But hey- we all still get out of bed and put on the day’s finest and dwell in the fact that good clothes do open all doors. And every once in a while to quote Miss Mariah Carey, “a hero comes along” and the shoes and stars collide and yes my dear girlfriends life has one of its great moments where you just sit back and smile.