Learning from an experiment: What song is this lion singing?

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The following post was an experiment to see what sort of metaphor and lesson would come from writing a post inspired by a photo. I pulled a random pic from unsplash.com and got the lion photo above. I decided to see what would happen if I made a point about influencing the view of others by indicating a meaning that wasn’t there. 

The result is a rather weak blog post that does not seem to land. I am keeping it on the site for the moment because it is a part of my first 100 days of blogging daily, though I am quite sure it will not make it past the audit I will do at day 101. 

Take a moment. Look at the picture of the lion above and answer for yourself, what song you think this lion is singing.

He looks like he is really into it, doesn’t he? Really belting it out there.

Got your answer? Great. Go ahead and lock that in your mind.

Now, what if I had asked, “Why is this lion crying?” or, “What made this lion so sleepy?”

I primed you with the question in the headline above the picture and then asked the question again in the opening sentence. Now some of you surely replied in your mind with “lions don’t sing” and a few might have thought “he doesn’t look like he is singing to me.”

Most of you played along and did so happily. You may have thought it was a magic trick where I would guess your answer. You might have thought there would be a poll where at the end I would tell you what kind of jungle animal you are. No matter what, I asked you a question with only one way to answer it and that pushed, at least a little, toward thinking the way I wanted you to think.

I watch all day long as people post on social media things that are not true, are partially true, or are true but are taken out of context. There is no holding anyone accountable for these posts. They stoke fires that don’t need to be stoked and they influence those who want to believe certain things to be true, that they are actually true.

The lion isn’t singing, but try looking at the picture without it being colored in some way with the question I asked you. If you were to look at this picture again in a week, is there a chance you might still think of the singing lion?

Oh, and the lion is singing Life on Mars by David Bowie.

 Photo by Lemuel Butler on Unsplash