September 25, 2014

The Connection Between Tinder & Gandhi.


Tinder is a strangely compelling—and slightly disturbing—app that allows you to connect with potential dating companions, or friends, in close proximity.

It’s like Angry Birds meets Plenty of Fish.

How it works: set some parameters, view the profile pic of potential candidates, then swipe right if you’re interested, swipe left if you’re not. If you both have swiped right, then bam, a match is made and messaging can commence. Woohooo!

Friends, I have been astonished by most of the guys’ profiles that I see:

25%: pictures with girlfriends or wives

20%: clearly drunk with the homies

20%: jaundiced bathroom selfie, brooding gaze, naked abs optional

20%: with a fish

10%: it’s a picture of Homer Simpson or a dog with sunglasses on

5%: awesome.

Before I go too far afield with well-intentioned suggestions for profile improvement, here’s what Tinder has to do with living a spiritual life.

Humans have a rare quality on the planet—consciousness.

We get to choose, moment by moment, who we want to be. On social media, our capacity to choose how we arrive in front of people is obvious. But outside of social media, we are arriving in our relationships every day, in every interaction that we have.

How we choose to present ourselves in our relationships—with our family, at our jobs, with strangers—is a direct expression of who we are and who we want to be.

On Tinder, we are copping out when we let the app post our Facebook pictures with no curatorial input. In life, we default when we show up mindlessly, unconsciously, and without choice. When that occurs, we are letting the habit of who we have been dictate who we are becoming.

Rather than defaulting to the easiest path, we can take a little care and make a choice in the moment to be better. We can step up our game and consciously embody our best vision for ourselves. And when we make these conscious choices, day after day, who we aspire to be becomes who we actually are.

As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

How do we currently arrive in the world? How do we want to arrive in the world?

Return, moment by moment, to the extraordinary power of your own ability to choose who you want to be. So cut the selfies and the drunken pub crawl pictures. Pull out that photo of you in the tux, or with your kids, or on the mountain. Let’s raise the bar for everyone by arriving in the world as our best selves. More importantly, we’ll remind ourselves who we really can be.



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Apprentice Editor: Melissa Horton/ Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Denis Bocquet

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