Memes are those humorous images or brief videos that spread like wildfire on the Internet. But memes aren’t always so innocuous or merely copied and pasted into our web browser.
According to Merriam-Webster, a meme is “an idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Much like COVID-19 possesses the potential to spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, a meme is spread between people either in person or digitally.
While memes range in emotional variance from belly-laugh-inducing to call-to-action-inspiring, there are dormant ones that, received unaware, can be downright dangerous. They’re words or actions that we ingest without giving ourselves time to chew. We swallow these memes without even taking a breath to consider them.
These dormant memes can manifest in our personal or professional lives. Their danger lies in our inability to discern them; digesting them unconsciously wreaks havoc on our spirit and psychological wellbeing.
Here are some virus memes I’ve heard in the past two weeks:
“I’m so stupid.”
Notice they start with the pronoun I. These statements are nothing more than memes. Someone at some point told them they were stupid, depressed, disorganized, lazy and fat. And they accepted the meme without question until it became part of their belief, their psyche.
Much like a malignant growth that needs to be removed, it is important to consider the statements you find yourself thinking or saying often. If it’s something negative about yourself, there’s a good chance you are allowing a virus meme to dwell in your psyche. If the words or behavior hurt you, I encourage you to work on its extraction from your life. Consider replacing it with an inspiring meme.
I leave you with an inspiring quote from Wayne Dyer regarding memes: “We all have thoughts that were given to us by our families, our society, our culture. These given thoughts are so pervasive and so ingrained that they seem like part of our very being, but that’s exactly why we need to dig in and examine them if we want a life worth living.”
Dig in and know your hunger!