Did it make you cry? The “Embrace Life” global-phenomenon PSA reflects how humanity is shifting

Videos go viral when they touch us deeply in a way that is basic to our human nature.  If you haven’t seen the “Embrace Life” public service announcement from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership in the UK (http://www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk/), view it here:

I’m a weeper, so of course I cried.  By the time I’d showed it to all the kids, I was sobbing.  But beyond the happy ending, there are remarkable things about this video and the fact that it resonated so much with folks around the world that it went viral, with over 9.3 million YouTube views at this writing.

1.  It’s artistic and beautiful.  As humanity evolves forward, arts are coming to the forefront.  Not just in museums, but in the amount and quality of beauty and design in everyday life.  For isntance, things that used to be primarily functional (like public service announcements) are becoming more artistic and beautiful.  Think of all the colored/designed phone covers and computers now, where these items used to be gray and functional.  As humanity shifts out of our logical Navigator Mind and back into our creative, artistic, metaphorical Essential Mind, people are demanding more artistic flair and design in their lives.  You can see this everywhere.

2. It’s positive reinforcement, not negative.  When I was a kid, parents spanked, a technique largely frowned upon today.  It’s based on negative reinforcement: negative actions have negative consequences so you’re trained to avoid the negative ones (in theory… it didn’t work so well on me).  Today, parents focus on positive reinforcement:  positive actions have positive consequences, so you want to do more positive stuff.  In terms of power, positive reinforcement trumps negative, any day.  This reflects a step up the evolutionary ladder from the punishment mindset.  This shift is similar to emerging from the First Phase of Healing Mastery (fixing what’s broken) into the Second Phase (seeking solution w/o interest in causality).

Masaro Emoto did an experiment with rice years ago that has been independently duplicated hundreds of times around the world and demonstrates that positive reinforcement is stronger than negative.  You can do this too: take three identical jars, add the same amount of rice and just cover the rice with water.  Then seal the jars and set them next to each other.  Each day, to the first one say “I love you”, to the next say, “I hate you”, and completely ignore (don’t even look at) the third.  The results?  Generally, the first jar simply ferments, like beer or sauerkraut — it doesn’t go bad.  The second typically goes bad, you see mold, it turns icky colors, etc.  But the third one goes putrid, really gross compared to #2.  Conclusion: positive reactions preserve and sustain, negative reactions (even to negative things) hurt, but ignoring hurts most of all.  This is why kids and adults would rather act out negatively than be ignored.  I see signs everywhere that humanity is shifting into positive reinforcement mode.

3. The PSA is metaphorical.  Now this is extraordinary.  The main character is NOT driving a real car.  We did NOT see blood and guts.  And really unusual — we did not see a single seatbelt in a seatbelt PSA!!!   The child and female represented his seatbelt.  What is the metaphor?  Love saved the man’s life.  He buckled up out of love so he could come home to embrace his loved ones.  And we saw the looks on their faces that showed what seeing him again meant to them.

Metaphor gets to the essence of the matter — it shows us what we’re really talking about, and what it MEANS.  Here, we saw no car.  No seatbelt.  No gore.  No stats.  No lecture.  But message heard, loud and clear, by millions of people all over the world.

We are changing as a species, evolving more fully into our true form of consciousness, the one that operates through the artistic, conceptual, metaphorical, possibility-oriented right brain, which we at the Global Institute for Awakening call the Essential Mind.  This popular ad is great evidence of this shift.

Intrigued?  To learn more about humanity’s evolution and what we are all ultimately seeking and how to get that for yourself and others, join as a member and receive with your membership our extraordinary two-part class, “How to Find What You’ve Been Missing”, where we go into this in much more detail!  Join here:  http://www.GIAwaken.com/benefits

To learn more about the video and the artist who created it, check out this brief CNN interview with him:

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for posting this. It gave a chill up and down my spine. What is so stunning is how subtle it is. No one could watch this 90 second spot and not get the message.

    I particularly like that there was no bloody accident, or screeching tires, etc. at the end. The positive reinforcement is not something we see every day (dare I say “ever”?) in our media.

    The artistry of the arms linking around the driver is what got me most. There wasn’t just an arm held out across his chest (like my father did when I was a child seated next to him in our family car pre-seat belt era (yes, I’m that old)). Masterful filming.

    This ad is absolutely aimed at us right-brainers. And our time has come! I think that’s what has happened with the internet. When it all started, it was very left brain. You needed to be a programmer to do anything. Then website templates began to appear and the creatives were off and running. A Wired Magazine article a few years back declared the Information Age was morphing into an inventive Conceptual Age. The Conceptual Age has arrived.

    It is also refreshing to see media that is not “dumbed down.” “Dumbing down” generally means loud and fast. Very fast. Lightening speed fast. Say as much as you can, talk as fast as you can, and show as many images as you can in 30, 60 or 90 seconds. It seems the advertising community is pandering to 12-year-old boys in every commercial. I, for one, am dog tired of so much information flashing before me. If we had more advertising like this PSA, we might not be a nation whose collective attention span is shorter than a gnat’s.

    And if there were more innovative ads out there I might be enticed to stop recording every television program I watch in order to speed through commercials. Attention advertisers: It’s not the 12-year-old boys who have the wallets you want. Give us something meaningful and entertaining and we just might try your product.

    I, for one, am very much looking forward to the Enlightened Age where we have evolved more fully into our true form of consciousness.

    Thank you for writing this thoughtful post today.

  2. I hit “play” before reading anything on the page–I like to be surprised as much as possible.

    Excellent play on visuals, accent on the word play. The message is clear, concise, and I believe easily accessed by just about any viewer.

    Ostensibly a message on the importance of seat belts, the video is also a message on relationships, how choices effect the web of people around us, and how that web acts and is acted upon.

    Wonderful to see so much packed into so little.

    – Alvin

  3. The power of metaphor is indisputable. It bypasses the mind and goes to the heart. The heart then sends the message to the mind. I find it interesting that the Brits conceived and produced this. They are teaching us how to raise our children (Super Nanny), how to feed our children (Jamie Oliver), and now how to drive safely and think communally, rather than selfishly. Ooops–except for BP.


  4. It’s encouraging that so many people were touched by this PSA. I think it says a lot about our evolution. I was intrigued by your mention of the Emoto rice experiment. I need to remember to say, “I love you,” to myself daily.

    • Absolutely, Geanine, and also to daily recognize all your accomplishments and give yourself that attention we all need!

  5. What an inspiring video and post. Thanks for sharing this. And I love that you brought ART into the conversation. So crucial–as I see it almost disappearing from school curriculum, it’s good to see you praising its power.