It feels to me like I’m hearing a lot of buzz about the word, and the idea of, “vulnerability.” It seems like we humans view that as something rare and so exceptional that when we see it, we think it needs to be celebrated.
I really hope that changes.
I wonder if you’ve ever visited a movie set where they make a feature film? Imagine that you’re at a place like that where they’re creating an Old West film and they’ve built what looks like a town so the cowboys could all ride in and have their shootout.
Well, they don’t build the whole town. They just put the storefronts up so that it looks like the buildings are there. That’s all they need to get what they want to show us what they think we want to see, but if you go through the doors of those buildings, or what look like buildings, you’ll find that there’s nothing there. It’s not real. It’s smoke and mirrors. There are no guts to it.
The movies themselves are kind of like that: they’re just stories. It’s fantasy. It’s not real.
Maybe that’s why, when I do come across a rare film that I actually like a lot, I’ll go and get the DVD because I like taking that home and digging into all the behind-the-scenes stuff because that, to me, is the real part. That’s the part where they reveal how they showed us what they thought we wanted to see, how they created it, how they told the story. It’s the reality and the human aspect of the fantasy that’s been shown to us.
Whenever I go out and speak, or whenever I have somebody tell their story on my podcast, without fail I hear from people who either come up to me or email me or send me a note through social media after they hear a podcast, and they’ll say something like, “I can’t believe how transparent that person was.” Or they’ll step up to me and they’ll say, “Kevin, I can’t believe that you allow yourself to be vulnerable.”
Well, when I tell those stories and when the people on my podcast join me and tell their stories, we’re not showing you the movie. We’re sharing with you how it was made. We’re just being real. We’re just telling the truth. We’re just being human, and yet over and over again people come up to me astonished that I would share what’s actually behind the storefront.
I hope that changes. I hope that we don’t continue to view vulnerability as rare and exceptional because when somebody approaches me and says, “Kevin, I could never allow myself to be as vulnerable as you,” what I’m really hearing is, “I’m afraid to be myself.”
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