Front and Center
So you think that you want to be in the limelight? Well, I can tell you, it is not what you think it is. I am an intrinsically shy individual, believe it, or not. Some of us, such as those in my line of work, & other careers such as media personalities, authors, entertainers, athletes, politicians, & people who have authoritative positions, have no choice – it comes with the territory. We have to be “front and center” in order to make things work. Some people in professions such as these are more in the public eye than others. 

But it is truly nothing to be envious of, that is for certain. The few perks of being highly visible are usually outweighed by the many other things such as the fact that when you are on the front lines, you are a target for pretty much everyone. You sacrifice privacy in order to promote your client’s best interests, or the common good. You cannot see the crowd behind you, & which ones are carrying knives with which to stab you in the back. 

Yet still, we allow ourselves to be the focus of attention in order to raise money for myriad causes, such as research & prevention for a host of diseases, to end abuse of our fellow man, or to recognize needs of those in the community which would otherwise be overlooked. Some allow themselves to be in the public eye in order to inform or entertain others. Or to promote products and services which benefit a large number of people. 

Being front and center requires a certain amount of boldness, courage, and staunchness that not all possess. You cannot do it if you are a fearful wallflower. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, knowing that not everyone will like you, not everyone will agree with every decision, or that not everyone will appreciate your efforts. Yes, some will even make fun of the way in which you dress or speak, as I poked fun at a certain politician’s wardrobe and her opponents’ hairstyle recently. 

Allowing oneself to be in the limelight means that one is willing to expose their flaws to the world, for the camera sees every wrinkle, and the public sees every step. It can be daunting. I know this, because I have, as a real estate agent and marketing person, allowed myself to be in the public eye. Someone dislikes a hairstyle in this ad. Another person does not like the content of a video which you produce. Someone else is jealous because you are better than them at promoting yourself. 

And sometimes, the person being promoted just cringes themselves, as I did when I first saw one of the inspirational videos which I produced & realized that the Spanx which I was wearing to make me look toner & slimmer somehow had the opposite effect when I was seated on the stool. I had lost a few pounds, so the garment was a bit loose, & bunched up beneath the belt line of the dress I was wearing, making it look like a small inner tube was floating around my mid-section. Yikes! Not exactly what a single lady wants, right? But I allowed the video to be release anyway, as it was done in an effort to help others. 

It is an endless cycle. Sales people must draw attention to themselves and their products, whether they wish to do so or not. If they do not do a stellar job, they get ridiculed by members of the public. If they do a good job, their peers may be derisive or jealous of them. Those who criticize for the first reason, if they have never done one of these jobs, should try it themselves – not as easy as it seems. Those who criticize for the second reason should realize that they have the same opportunities as the others to put themselves out there.

Go ahead, make fun of little inner tube beneath my dress in that video, if you would like. Or maybe make fun of the dark circles beneath my eyes in a promotional video I did for charity once – they were the result of sinus surgery a few days before. Make fun of me for being front and center, I don’t care. It comes with the territory.

Come football season, I will be making fun of the opposing team’s faux pas. I may make fun of people’s attire on the campaign trail. Yes, I may laugh when a news anchor flubs their lines, too. 

But I will admire one common thread that each of them has, and that is that they have the gumption and backbone to get back onto the playing field, back onto the stage, or back in front of the cameras after they stumble, after they are ridiculed, and even after they are booed. 

You can choose to be the wallflower. Or you can choose to be center stage. Each has their place. But assassinating those who have the bravery to step out and step up? I am afraid that there is no valor there. 

– Lou Lehman Sams 


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I am a Southern Belle, through and through. Born and raised in North Alabama, where my family settled in 1808, when the area was still the Mississippi Territory, I come from a line of Planters, Patriots, and Pioneers. They were people who were unafraid to take risks, who said what they believed, and who honored God and their Country. Like my ancestors before me, I have strong values, believing that the Golden Rule is indeed golden. I write as a way to relate and as a release. I hope that my words may inspire, challenge and provoke one to thinking about how extraordinary things can come out of ordinary places, people, and things.

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