Just yesterday, I saw this video for the first time – a video of a young gay solider coming out live on the phone to his dad on the day “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed. Since then, I have seen it several times. Since its posting yesterday, it has been seen 1.8 million times. In one day.
This video was emotional, moving and wonderful for a lot of reasons. It is also a great example of the use of video as a medium for making a deeper human connection. All great videos share common elements, including the ability to connect with us as humans. They make us laugh, be silly, cry, think differently, get angry, be inspired – whatever. These are all valid parts of the human experience.
The point is they connect with us because they make us feel something. Every human being desires to be loved unconditionally and accepted for who they are. It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, black, white, Muslim or Atheist. This young man’s journey to find out if his father still loved him – even if he was gay – is our collective journey. It’s a human story of love and acceptance, and that taps into something powerful and universal. He took a huge risk – and we were emotionally invested in the outcome. There is no other medium that could have conveyed the power of this story. And that’s why this video went viral.
Great video doesn’t require something as dramatic as what this young, brave solider did. I am not advocating that we all take such steep personal risks on video. Certainly, this could have ended not so well for this young man. Thankfully, it did. But some young men and women are not so lucky, sadly.
Yet, the issue of “risk” is important when we talk about “showing up” as who we are meant to be. What you do need to do is be authentic, be real, and be willing to be vulnerable to some degree. Show up and show us how you feel in your videos. All the video production and polishing in the world will not compensate for a lack of real human authenticity.
What risks are you willing to take to break the mold and show up authentically? You don’t have to come out on video to be authentic! It’s not the degree of risk that matters, although certainly that human story draws us in. What’s most important is our willingness to take risks – even small, creative, personal ones that show who we are to the world. When we are ourselves, we connect at a far deeper level that matters.
Are you ready to be more of who you are in the world?