Dwayne Johnson this week surpassed 200 million followers on Instagram, his go-to social media portal. He posted a video this morning to commemorate the milestone, one he said puts him atop the pile in terms of American men (the soccer star Ronaldo has the biggest Instagram following in the world at 238 million, while Ariana Grande holds the biggest worldwide female Instagram following with 203 million). In his post, Johnson humbly thanked his fans, saying “Always speak your truth, and do your best to speak your truth with compassion, with a little bit of poise, with a little bit of dignity, with respect and with empathy. Even when speaking your truth means you’re going to dive into some conversations that might make people a little uncomfortable”
Johnson was clearly referring to his recent decision to endorse Joe Biden as president, the first time he has declared for a candidate. He gave Biden and Kamala Harris an interview forum, and we could see in the comments section of Deadline’s coverage that a segment of his audience was none too happy. Most of Johnson’s posts are upbeat and positive ways to live your life, with occasional footage of him lifting impossible amounts of weight. While he doesn’t specifically address the endorsement and subsequent flack in this video, it seemed to grow organically. One of his posts directly challenged government to lead on the coronavirus infection, and it hardly seems likely that he regretted his endorsement when the president went through coronavirus treatment as the virus ravage the White House, pulled off his mask and implored his followers to not fear coronavirus, not taking the opportunity to show much empathy for the families of over 210,000 Americans who’ve died from the disease. When Johnson devoted a recent post to reveal that he and his family tested positive, he used it as reason to implore his followers to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing. While some in Hollywood like George Clooney are willing to get into any scrap where he feels he can use his influence to confront a bully or shine a light on an injustice, it seems like Johnson is evolving in that direction. It is always a risk of polarizing your audience by speaking one’s mind, and it takes courage to do it for the first time. But these are trying times and adversity prompts some to lead. With such a powerful social imprint, it will be interesting to see how Johnson uses this clout. At one point or other, it’s likely that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan never considered getting into the political arena, or for that matter, the reality TV host in the White House.
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Here’s what I’ve learned these past few weeks and maybe, you can find value in this take away and apply it to your own life. Always speak your truth. And when you do speak your truth – do your best to speak with dignity, compassion, respect, poise and empathy. Even when the conversations get uncomfortable – when you approach with respect and care – on the other side of discomfort – is clarity and progress. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for giving me the space to speak my truth. You have my word, I’ll always do my best to speak my truth with dignity, respect, empathy and GRATITUDE. That’s my lesson I’ve learned. And the result of speaking my truth is I was just informed, I’ve surged past and blown by 200 MILLION FOLLOWERS on Instagram and over 300 MILLION FOLLOWERS across all platforms – officially becoming/ The #1 followed man in America. The #1 followed American man in the world. And most importantly, the #1 daddy at home. Love you guys, I always got your back and let’s keep rockin’ 🖤👊🏾 #speakyourtruth #dignityrespectgratitude #thatsoursuperpower 🇺🇸