I want to step away from the world of writing as a subject for the blog this time. In fact, I think that we all need to step away from our departmented worlds for a moment. We need to take time to step away from the world of writing, or of music, or of games, or of sports, or of any of the hundreds of specialized areas that we have cocooned ourselves up in. I think that it is vital that we step away from these things and spend some time back in the regular, good old-fashioned, shared-by-everyone world.When I was a kid I used to watch reruns of the show Laugh In. They used to have a weekly segment called the Fickle Finger of Fate. Well, today's social media, communications technologies, and other forms of interaction have made the Finger of Fate more fickle than ever. Everyone has an opportunity to stand in the spotlight. It doesn't matter what type of activity or hobby or profession that you are a part of, you can find a community now that focuses on it. Once you find that community, that comfort zone, you have the opportunity to stand out. You have the opportunity to have a spotlight on you for something that, just a decade or two ago, may not have received any attention at all. We live in a time where each person truly does have an opportunity to have their fifteen minutes of fame. That is a great thing...when taken in measured doses. Unfortunately, when have humans ever been known for doing things in measured doses? When we find something that we like, want, or enjoy, we indulge, often to excess. The spotlight is addictive. Who doesn't enjoy receiving accolades or appreciation for what they do? Even those that consider themselves to be introverts appreciate being recognized for their accomplishments. I doubt that anyone really grows out of the high school mentality of wanting to be with the "in" crowd. In today's society, you get that opportunity more than ever. I like that. I was never part of the "in" crowd myself (I know that will come as a shock!), but I have had the opportunity to stand in a spotlight once or twice, no matter how small. It is intoxicating. It is a rush. It is an amazing sense of accomplishment that everyone should have the opportunity to experience and enjoy. It is also temporary. This is where things become tough. This is what takes us out of the real world and has many of us isolating ourselves in our more comfortable specialized worlds, trying to stay in that spotlight as long as possible. The thing is, a spotlight is meant to be temporary. We should never be seeking out a permanent state of celebrity. By its very nature, a spotlight makes us think about ourselves. Good. Everyone needs to take care of themselves. Everyone needs to find pride in themselves. A spotlight certainly helps you do that. Unfortunately, if you stay in your spotlight too long, you start to forget that there is a real world outside of your specialized one. You want to stay in your specialized world more and more because the longer you are there, the more obscure you feel in the real world. Dealing with the real world becomes more and more difficult. After a while, some people stop trying to deal with the real world and spend as much time as they can in their specialized world. The world where they are still in the spotlight. The world where they feel like they matter. The trick is to understand that while the "real world" may not shine a spotlight on you as much as your specialized world, you have a much bigger impact on it. No matter what the situation you are living in is, there are people that depend on you. There are people that look up to you. There are people that want your attention not because of some special ability that you have, but because you are who you are. In the real world, you are still in someone's spotlight. It may not seem as bright as the spotlight in your specialized world, but it is the brightest light that they can shine, and it never turns off. Push away from the keyboard. Turn off the game. Stop playing the sport. Whatever it is that you do in your specialized world, step away from it for a minute. Look around. See the world not only by looking at it, but also by seeing how it looks at you. There are always spotlights on you here. Don't try to be your own reality show. Instead, make sure that you're spending enough time in reality. Your world awaits.