The Unicorn Craze

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

17 January 2019

Do you know a girl between the ages of 1 and 14? Have you been to Target recently? Or have you caught any children’s commercials? If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, chances are you’ve had a run in with the newest fad. Whether it was a stuffed animal, slippers, a pair of sneakers, or a book, the rainbow glitter magical creatures are here: Unicorns.

These mystical creatures are extremely rare and, therefore, undoubtedly precious. If people have seen unicorns, they’ve been unable to produce the proper evidence; although, thinking about a horse with one horn running around in the woods isn’t too hard to imagine. Mother nature has provided us with a whale that has one horn. Why not a horse? The multicolored mane or pink fur may be a bit of a stretch, but that part could be a hopeful interpretation.

When it comes to the business-world, a unicorn is defined as a start-up worth more than $1 billion. As of March 2018, there are 279 unicorns in the world, with two of the largest being Uber and Airbnb. That’s 279 more unicorns than have been found in the animal kingdom. While still being rare, if we examine this concept in the literal sense, it might be cute. But it’s still nonsense. If you were as rare as a unicorn, to put it plainly, you wouldn’t exist.

Maybe it’s more important to be the horse, as opposed the unicorn. In my mind, to be steady and balanced is greater than being so rare you cease to exist. I think of Jeff Bezos’ divorce. I imagine before all the money, responsibility, and entitlement, he and his wife likely lived a much simpler life. They probably spent more time together laughing, hugging, and enjoying each other’s company. Having unicorn-sized success isn’t always greater, and it‘s rarely full of rainbows and glitter.

I suppose it all comes down to our individual values. We all have different bottom lines and different things that make us tick. As a result, we choose what we allow ourselves to suffer through and what shortcuts we permit ourselves to take along the way. While it’s nice to imagine ourselves as rare as unicorns, being precious can be pretty damaging to our psyches, our lives, and our senses of steadiness and balance, of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Since life is about choices, choose wisely.