i remember the fist time i heard the term “metrosexual” i was, needless to say, a bit confused. i was serving a church in california and someone actually called me a “metrosexual” – what? i have never been told that before. now, i am a pretty open minded guy, as open minded guys go; i tend to think i am “up on things,” as “up” on things as any open minded guy can be. but that one got right past me. i would have never even thought of putting the two words together, i was confused about what the word even meant, how did it break down and how did it connect with me – so i started to pull the word apart in my head – “metro” and “sexual.”
i started to think, could the word mean i like sex in the city? could it mean i like sex……… ok, i will not go there because that’s a word picture not worth painting. what i found out later was the word simply meant i was a guy who like to dress nice, smell nice and had a very “urban” view of the world – heck, why didn’t they just say so. it seemed that the term is used to define men who are “gay-like” without being gay – they are “in touch” with their “softer side” [i don’t want to say “female side” because that is just too freaky for me to even think about]. over time i came to grips with the idea that i liked to smell good, and my wife picked out my cloths so i guess it’s ok to be seen as “metrosexual.” recently, i came across another word that got me thinking – you guessed it, the word is “metrospirityality.”
now, i think the term is just as illusive as “metrosexuality” but it does appear to have a meaning founded in culture – and, believe it or not, it does appear to have a purpose. it seems that driving force behind the word has something to do with marketing and spirituality. it seems that the word strives to combine the idea of marketing a product with a spiritual twist – it seems that the goal of being metrospiritual is to be able to show how your product is “in tune” with the spiritual nature of the world. while i think the idea is cool, i tend to think that maddison avenue would be more concerned with the market side of it, and less concerned with the spiritual side.
for an organization to truly see how “metrospiritually” works in our life’s, one must remember what is core to those who seek a spiritual walk. to me, and i think many others, “metrospiritual” can be seen in “three” ways, it is when we learn to connect and honor what God has created [all of God’s creation – earth, people, animals, plants – everything]; it is being open to hearing, and truly explore other cultures and other people groups; it is seeking to develop a inner self that seeks healing from life pains, hurts, grudges, worries and misdirections. as a follower of jesus, it is that we seek to honor God, honor others and honor ourselves. while this seems almost impossible, it is, in fact, very possible.
when we think and live in terms of being “metrospiritual” we think of things like organic foods, ecotourism, hybrid cars, fair-trade crafts and coffee, alternative medicines, and holistic living. to me, it is going back to a “basic” of life that shows we do not need “tech” to live; it is saying that tech feeds of way, but God feeds our walk. while i tend to think that there are certain things that lend well to a “metrospirituality,” there are always things to look out for.
i tend to think that over time marketing will define our spirituality in connection to products. currently, many people get their understanding of spiritual matters from tv shows and movies. all in all there is nothing wrong with getting a view of spirituality from those sources, but the concern for me to connect my spiritual well being with a product. the idea that “if i buy the product i will be a better person for doing so.” if i buy a certain car, i am no more enlightened then i was before, or if i buy a different car. certain cloths will not save me, while other cloths will not, and my being closer to God is not found in the kind of stereo system i decide to buy, or where i buy it from. you see, it is not that having a “metrospirituality” view is wrong, but “forcing a spiritual twist” on a product that does not have a spiritual reality seems dishonest at best. if the produce pollutes, harms, controls or is seen as “selfish” then giving it a spiritual twist will simply alienate the people you desire to reach. think about this, a hummer is not seen as very “metrospiritual” in relationship to a honda hybred.
generally speaking, i think that most people who are designing product campaigns just don’t get it. sure, they try and i am certain they are trying to find people who seem to get it, but they don’t seem to get it right now. what they find are people who have more of a marketing background, and less of a spiritual background so the spiritual connection seems fake and forced. the terms they use in marketing do not fit what they are trying to say. do they honestly think that anyone sees a car as “salvation?” so, to connect the two is not what people are driven to. what i think people are drawn to when it comes to this idea of “metrospirituality” is that they see how the product fits into a spiritual life – if i buy your product will it help other achieve their goals?