Question: If someone said to you, "You are not relevant," would that be offensive? How about if someone said, "You [he or she] need to try to become relevant?"
I once had a couple of classmates--groupie girls--tell me that they would never invite me to a post-game party because the Mr. So-and-so's would never be interested in me. According to them, I "...would not be relevant to guys like that." i.e. I wasn't a groupie and wouldn't do groupie things. Of course, relevant was a newly discovered word for them, so maybe they just wanted to work it into a sentence that day. *eye roll*
I remember thinking, what happened to people liking each other for who they really are, not what they do...or don't do? When did being genuine become an irrelevant thing?
Relevant is like the new buzz word used to talk people down.
If you googled Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s name in the weeks leading up to the Daytona 500, all you read were headlines questioning just how relevant he still is in racing. The headlines included things like: Dale Tries To Become Relevant; Last Chance For Dale Jr. To Remain Relevant, Dale Jr: Racing For Relevance.
Then you see headlines like, Why Doesn't Dale Jr. Smile Anymore? Wow, I wonder. How much would you want to smile if someone kept badgering you about relevancy, talent, passion, blah, blah, blah???
Everyone is relevant in this world. In such a big 'ol place, it's nice to know you are relevant to your mama, your daddy, your friends, and your loved ones.
As for Dale, he will always be relevant in NASCAR. It's funny to me, really, that these people who question his relevancy fail to see the irony in what they write: if he wasn't relevant, then why are you writing about him? See? Relevant. More than that, though, he's relevant to the people that matter most in his life--his loved ones...and you can toss in a slew of fans for the heck of it. Not so shabby.
What's my point? Well, I guess it's just to think about what you say before you say it. We're all in the same boat, no matter our name or station in life...in the end, we're all after the same general things.
***NASCAR NOTE: Yesterday, while running in a two-car tandem with teammate Jimmie Johnson, Robbie Gordon, David Gilliland, and Michael Waltrip veered in front of the 48, causing him to check up and get a little loose. When he did, Dale had to slow up and was hit from behind by Martin Truex Jr. So, even though he won the pole, Dale will have to start in the back of the pack. No biggie. You can move from the back to the front pretty quickly at Daytona...especially if you're the 88.