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The Great Plastic Pretense

3 min read

A poem by Tom Lutes

Hey, I’m a motivational speaker!
I look good.
They pay me big money.
I get into people’s faces.
I put things on edge.
I inspire people to tell more truth,
And be real leaders
Huh? What about me?
Why, I’m fine of course.
I look good, don’t you think?
What’s that? I look a little older?
I seem uncomfortable with myself?
No, no. That’s not true. I’m happy!
You will see what I want you to see about me.

Hmmm, my look is not perfect …..
Well, let’s see, maybe if I took a little tuck here.
And maybe just a little nip over there.
And perhaps an enlargement right here.
But then also let’s suck a little out over there.
Oh, and while you’re at it doctor,
Could you just stretch that part there a little tighter?
Good, now when I stand in front of audiences
They will see what I want them to.
I control how you see me.
I control how you look at me.
So, how do you see me now?
What? Still not perfect?
Perhaps if I adjusted this little part right over here.
Then you would see what I want you to see.

Business is dropping?
No problem.
I’ll just write another book.
That will really help.
Let’s see …. A book about honesty,
And telling the truth.
That’s a hot topic these days.
Then, when you look at me,
You will see honesty in me.
That’s the image I want.
Don’t look at me to find the real me.
That’s not what I want you to see.
You will see about me what I want you to see!

Look, it’s important to create an image.
How I feel about myself doesn’t matter.
People will never see that.
What matters is controlling how you see me.
I will cut this and shave that.
I will pull this and clip that.
I will say this and not that.
I will look like a success.
It’s all marketing and communication.
You just have to say it right!
By the way, any challenges to that will be taken up by my lawyer.
I don’t mind suing, it’s all part of keeping up the image.

Keeping up the image.
That is what matters.
It’s an image after all,
Just like in a camera.
I know what I’m taking about.
Just read my books.
Look at my house.
Check out my car.
See my jewelry.
Look at my clothes.
If you miss all that,
See my bank account.
I know you will be impressed.
You will see what I want you to see!

Look at everything other than who is behind it all.
That is what I don’t want you to see,
Or ask anything about.
In fact before you think about asking me about me,
I will point out a couple things about you.
Before you can be a real leader,
These things must be cleared up.
This way your attention stays on you.
That way you only see what I want you to see about me!

Good, now that we have that straight,
What do I need to do?
Oh, I know, a new book.
I’ll write another book!
It’ll be about courage and being fearless.
That way when you see me,
You will see the perfect image:
I am a courageous leader!
I look like it!
I talk like it!
What else is there?

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