When Kyle told me that he wanted to invite everyone he knew to make a music video for his birthday party, it scared me. I knew exactly why it scared me as well–I was afraid that nobody would show up except for me and our siblings and that it would be a total flop. It was an unusual idea, it involved dancing (which scares many people away), and I was afraid that it would be that birthday party that you invite your whole class to and nobody shows up.
I told this to Kyle, but I also told him that if he didn’t try it, then he could never succeed with the idea. He listened, and then invited everyone he knew and told them to invite everyone they knew. Wesley, Youngest SIL, Kyle’s co-worker, and three of the co-worker’s friends came. Those friends that we met for the first time yesterday in many ways made the movie because two of them could breakdance and fill in the solo section Kyle wanted. They were fabulous. Someone else also came, but was too cowardly to dance with us and just recorded us practicing the dance before leaving. We also roped somebody who was walking by to solo dance for us. It wasn’t a whole lot of people, but everyone who came was so excited and willing to work hard that it didn’t matter. It was better to have 8 people who didn’t mind filming for 5 hours than to have 20 and a bunch who complained about being bored/tired/hot/etc.
I was amazed. It was really a lesson to me about living with less fear. I’m the kid who was told she was smart all the time and it instilled in me a fear of failure. Sometimes I’m too afraid to start because I’m afraid to fail. But the fact is that if you never try, you can never succeed. The video and the party could have totally flopped, that was always a possibility, but it didn’t. And it didn’t flop because Kyle wasn’t afraid to try it. He wasn’t so afraid to make a crappy movie that it stopped him from reaching out to find people who could help. In reaching out he found exactly what he needed. Maybe when he gets more popular on YouTube he’ll reach out and more people will come, but I’ll always remember this time as the one where he moved forward without fear, despite the overwhelming odds, and accomplished something wonderful.