What did you think about the video? Not it’s quality (because it is not professional grade), but what did you notice?
My first blog post, only a short scroll back, was titled “We, as humans, want to be first. We want to win.”. Do we always want to be first, though?
In the video, along with the people around the man dancing, you notice a lone man embracing the music. It would appear as though he loves what he is hearing and was moved to express it through dance. As an observer you might even assume that he does not care what others think of his impromptu dance.
What else did you notice? There were people watching him. I would suspect that many thought he looked a little crazy, but then someone joined him, then another and another until people were jumping up and running to be a part of his dance. So, it begs the question, do we always want to be first?
Why are we okay with being first in traffic, first in line on black Friday or first to finish a test, but we are not okay with being like this guy?
I am not an expert in the human psyche but I would suspect that being able to beat someone to the stop light in traffic is a safe gamble. Maybe we got their first because our car is faster or we are a better driver. If we do not make it or someone beats us, we are in our car, sheltered- there is a getaway – a barrier. If we are first in line on black Friday everyone behind us knows that we are likely to get what we want, and let’s face it, we are in good company. Everyone behind us is there for the same thing. If we are first to finish the test it must be assumed we are the smartest, right? The only person who will know any different is the person grading it. There is little risk involved with these acts. They are, you could say, somewhat calculated.
The dancing guy was vulnerable. He took a chance that what he did would be mocked, but he did it anyway and the result was that others eventually shared in his joy.
Maybe instead of being first in line, first to own a new gadget (insert game system, music player etc. here) we should try being first at being vulnerable. How many times have we missed an opportunity to speak up at work, say something to a loved one (or a stranger), or take advantage of an opportunity because we were afraid to put ourselves out there?
That is all; just a thought for today. If you want to dig a little deeper I urge you to watch the following video. I was introduced to it about two months ago and it has had a profound impact on my life and how I view the world and people’s behaviors. In the video Brene Brown, LMSW and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, explores shame and vulnerability and her journey to wrapping her arms around such a largely misunderstood concept. I challenge you to watch it and not be affected by it.