I confess




I was one of the 3 billion people worldwide who watched and, yes, enjoyed!!!!!
Cynical, rational me…

I am referring of course to the Royal Wedding of Prince William, already balding heir to the throne of England, and commoner (what unites us all) Kate Middleton, whose parents are Internet entrepreneurs.

See? In the telling I am getting a slightly cynical edge – and it will get worse. But trust me in the watching? I was mesmerized and as engaged with the story as if I knew them and was an invitee.

I marveled at the precision timing (think of that next time you are late for a meeting); I strained to see the famous faces in the church crowd; I commented on the hats and the lack of them; I loved the pomp and drama but also the ease of informality that the brothers possessed in their traditional military garb; I speculated on the Queen’s relationship with her family as Camilla bowed; and I teared up (YES, DAMN IT!!) when Kate and her father started walking down the aisle.

But, as I said, I wasn’t alone – 3 billion people – across the world – tuned in – TV retailers take note…

And Internet usage records were shattered as people watched, shared and commented – adding a whole new dimension to the event and maybe helping to define (if we think it out) a whole new strategic approach to marketing, as access to live TV and office computers and mobile devices and holiday schedules and such combined to take advantage of every channel available defined by location, timing and ease.

Let me not forget the millions of people in the streets – in London – and I’d be churlish (good English word that) not to mention the women I saw in NY wearing headgear reminiscent of what I had just seen in Westminster.

And there you have it.

Yet here is the thing – why?

Looking at other most watched, most shared, most engaging events the world has ever seen – I was struck by what connected them.

Lady Di’s funeral – 2.5 billion viewers; Michael Jackson’s funeral, one of Yahoo’s previous records; World Cup Soccer; Super Bowl

What do you think they all have in common? And doesn’t it strike you that war and terrorism and disaster are not up there? Not to mention our unholy fascination with stupid celebrity doings…despite their daily deluge?

A friend had commented the day before that, despite her own inherent cynicism, she was drawn to the story as she worked out in the gym because it was so nice – a change from the usual downer news, doom and gloom – because it was at once real and surreal – aspirational but yet somehow attainable too.

And that led me to a thought I would have dismissed as soppy a week ago but today find rather poignant and insightful…Listen:

“Passion makes the world go round. Love just makes it a safer place.”  Ice T

Think on that. We need passion – for our lives, for our work, for our world – but passion can be misdirected – all it takes is love…

So, as I return to my innate and native cynicism – I will be holding on to just a bit of this story…

What’s your take?

PS – Full confession – our younger daughter is getting married in the summer – what father could be immune…

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