A few weeks ago, someone suggested that I watch the video, This Is America, from Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover)
A better recommendations would have been to watch it twice.
My first viewing left me mesmerized, but also wondering, “What the hell was that about?”
My inclination was to google that very question. The results were revealing. Countless articles broke down the multiple layers of the video, pointing out important things I had clearly missed in my initial viewing.
So I watched it again. This time, instead of watching the action taking place in the foreground, I focused exclusively on what was going on in the background.
Like the peeling of an onion, each layer was stronger than the one before.
Demands on our time and distractions to our attention make for superficial viewing. And as supply follows demand, eventually superficial content.
Yet beneath the surface of every story, including our own, should be depth worth examining.
Find the time to watch something twice. First follow the action right in front of you, then watch again to see what’s happening in the background.
It could be this video. Or try it with a sporting event (watch a portion of the game following the ball, then spend 10 minutes focused on one player without the ball.) Re-read a great book or listen closely to the verses of a song multiple times to get past the hook.
Finally, try to view your own story differently. Take your eyes off of yourself and look to see everything that is happening all around you – what meaning and depth do the people, places and events in your background add to your story?
When you take the time to look twice at something, you won’t have to worry about what you’re missing.