Last week, a half million people descended upon Washington, DC in an effort show their collective dissatisfaction with the newly-inaugurated president and the path on which he proposes to lead the country. Similar marches and gatherings erupted throughout the United States and across the globe. After several months of looming uncertainty and immanent anguish, this worldwide assembly was a glimmer of hope, of redemption, of camaraderie.
I followed the event as it unfolded, through my various connections on social media. Via Twitter and Facebook, I am connected to many folks across the country. In addition to the crowds in my home town of Philadelphia, I saw photos from marches in New York City, Austin, Little Rock, Los Angeles — even as far as Honolulu. Every picture featured groups of women (and a contingency of supportive men) hugging close together and mugging for the camera. Many donned the event's signature knit pink "pussy" hats. Many displayed clever signs to voice their stance and opinions. Many were accompanied by their children. All in all, the photos emanated a feeling of strength, love, and a common cause. Each was a touching glimpse of fractions of a huge movement assembled peacefully, united for a single principle.
Except for one person.
Among the hundreds of sentiments and personal accounts I saw during the day — outpourings of togetherness and benevolence and care for fellow humans — I read one sentence that truly disturbed me. It was the selfish words of a narcissistic person who totally missed the point and significance of where she was. On a day that exuded fellowship and partnership, one person in the thick of the crowd gathered near the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, felt it was most important to inform the world via this mobile Facebook post:
"29,877 steps on my Fitbit, 12.4 miles and, for other reasons, truly historic day."
There's a joke my son always tells when we go to concerts. Sometimes, after a band's first song, the vain lead singer will approach the microphone and angrily gesture to the poor fellow operating the venue's sound controls. He'll point to his ear and announce, "Can I get a little more me in the monitors? A little more me, please."
Y'know, sometimes, it's not all about you.