See No Evil

Helping Professionals To Use Story to Transform Communities

See No Evil

Julian Buggs (It’s been a while, friend!) asked for a blog on the term “iconoclast”.

An iconoclast is a person who works to destroy any religious imagery or icons on the grounds that worship of those “idols” cannot substitute for devotion to the real thing.

When was the last time you took a selfie? When you finally got it right,

Source: Wikipedia and Steve Jurvetson -

Source: Wikipedia and Steve Jurvetson –

you posted it on whatever social media you prefer and waited for the reaction.

You angled the camera and took pictures of yourself, and reangled the shot until it came out just right.

That was the image you kept.

That was the image you let everyone see.

That image became your icon.

Icon may now be most easily recognized as a social media term, but at one point in linguistic history, it referred to the paintings and images of holy figures. An icon was a symbol that represented something important. Now it is the link to a profile, and the doorway to a new app.

Think of how you feel when you open your favorite program or visit your favorite restaurant. Seeing the symbol triggers an emotion. Imagery becomes emotionally poignant when connected with an experience.

Back to your selfie. Why didn’t you post the first picture you took?

Because it didn’t capture the feeling in the moment in the way that you wanted.

But that’s the thing about moments. They’re fleeting. Even the best picture you take is only a trigger for the emotion you felt in the moment. It’s not the reason for your feelings, and as such, is no more valuable than the paper you print it on. And really, every picture you take is beautiful when you see it the right way.

Be an iconoclast. Take the value off the image (whatever image you hold of yourself) and place it back on who you really are. Take the value away from what people think of you, and find your true worth in what is truly holy and sacred.

Moments, looks and opinions are fleeting. Trying to capture its perfection is a mistaken way to try to contain the divine. It can only be experienced. Like the band says, “Kill your idols.”