They are all positive role models.
Jeremy Lin is a star player for the Knicks, but earned a Harvard degree without the benefit of an athletic scholarship. Tim Tebow is a devout Christian who prays for touchdown passes and took his team to the divisional playoffs. Timothy Bradley is a vegan boxer who has an unblemished record of 28-0. He maintains a strict diet to keep his head clear during competition.
There is a common thread of hard work, humility, and talent for all three men.
The return of uncomplicated heroes signifies an uptick in public mood. After years of expecting (and finding) the worst in everyone, people are ready for a “feel good” story. In The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior, Robert Prechter puts together a modern Rosetta Stone for translating how shifts in public mood creates changes in culture, politics, and the economy. This emerging discipline is known as socionomics. Understanding its principles is like having your own special decoder ring for cultural events – decipher the code correctly and you can find the secret message.
According to the principles of socionomics, social trends tend to move together in predictable patterns. The celebration of “good guy” heroes is just one expression of improving social mood. There are a number of other social trends that we would need to see to confirm a long-term improvement in how people feel.
Business: Companies are quiet, yet efficient. A “can-do” attitude returns as companies increase expenditures in staff, research, and development. New and innovative products are successfully launched.
Celebrity: We’ll hear more about people that we can truly respect and admire. Politicians will earn our respect, along with corporate and spiritual leaders. The media will be slower to find fault and publicize the failings of celebrities.
Fashion: Colors become brighter and clothing becomes form-fitting. Clothing becomes less about rebellion and more about classical styling and tailoring. Fashion slowly moves towards slight conformity.
Family: Divorce rates decline while long-term commitments become more common. People marry younger. There is an emphasis on raising children well.
Entertainment: Musicals, comedy, and action/adventure become popular on television and at the theatre. People learn how to sing and dance again. Funding for the arts improves, along with interest in high culture.
Lifestyles: Look for a boom in outside physical activities and fitness fads. Social engagement increases. People become fitter and more active as diets improve.
Manners: Entitlement and indignation are out. Simple kindness towards others and courtesy is emphasized. Gratitude and appreciation are more commonly expressed.
Music: Song lyrics become pleasant and musical tempos accelerate. Major keys and uplifting harmonies are more common. Lyricism return to music, along with catchy tunes. Music becomes family-friendly and pop music idols more common.
Politics: Politics becomes less controversial and polarized. There is a sense that we are all on the same side. Peace accords are made and old feuds are reconciled. Government is made smaller and simpler and deregulation becomes a legislative focus.
Science: People will believe that the problems of the world can be solved through better technology. Companies and people are more willing to invest in emerging technologies. Look for increasingly ambitious projects and bigger breakthroughs.
The acceptance of heroes like Lin, Tebow, and Bradley is a positive sign for all of us. This is an early indicator that people are ready to feel better and celebrate basic goodness. If the principles of socionomics are correct, and if social mood continues to improve, we can hope to see positive changes in other aspects of our culture. It won’t happen overnight.