A dear Humanitarian Clown friend is starting a new business, and asked me if I would provide him with a testimonial. I said I’d be happy to write something, and he said what he’d really like is a brief video testimonial… sure why not?
Technical details that required that it be recorded with a cell phone, and I asked my Grandson if he’d do it. I wrote a two-minute presentation, and when we did a practice run, I found I couldn’t get out everything I wanted to say in such a brief time and got a bit breathless.
There was a time when my words flowed with passionate spontaneity, no prepared text delivered with practiced exactitude; that was then, and this is now; I have a tendency to get off on tangents but now when my mind wanders I sometimes have to scramble to remember where I took off from.
I printed out my words in large type, and had my wife hold them up just outside the cameras’ range, about 5 feet away. Even in large print I couldn’t see the words clearly, and I thought about putting on my bifocals but didn’t want to be squinting at the print and not looking at the camera. All my old performance and perfection drivers still working, until my grandson, seeing my ambivalence said, “Get over it old man, just read it. Nobody is going to succeed or fail because of how you say it”. It didn’t take 10 seconds to let go of my tendency toward critical self-assessment, picked up the paper, looked at it periodically, felt fine and congratulated myself at my growing maturity.
The next day I saw an advertisement for a combination cell phone holder and light source that clips onto your computer. I thought with this I could look directly at the camera and have the words in front of me and do it better.
I’m good with where I am, grateful to my children and grandchildren who keep me real, but I still stand at attention when my old drivers call out to me… you can do it better. Some things are just hard to get over.