I love this video. I cringe, watching this video. I love this video.
I love this video because it is raw, honest. I love this video because it drives home a fundamental truth that we all would do well to take to heart in this era we’ve created of tasks lists and accomplishments and agendas and competition.
I cringe while viewing this video, because it shines a shockingly bright light on an area that I fail in miserably and consistently.
This is the story of Tony Anderson, a film composer. He speaks about his longing for the early days of his journey to writing music for films, when there wasn’t tremendous pressure to deliver and meet demand. Where there wasn’t tremendous competition or drive to succeed. When it was about the creativity process, not deadlines or influence.
And then he introduces Donny.
Donny didn’t care whether Tony’s music was getting in front of the right people. He wasn’t impressed by Tony’s accomplishments or schedule. Donny just wanted a friend. He wanted to talk. He wanted to love and be loved.
I loved what Tony said about Donny, “Donny…enjoys every human being he runs into…..”
This is where the glare from the light hits my life. This is where I cringe when I watch this video.
Because this is where I fall consistently. I don’t love like Donny loves. I get so caught up in my to-do list, in my goals, in my assignments, in my schedule, that I do not make time for Donny’s. I barely make time for the people closest to me. Ugh ugh ugh. My day so quickly devolves into this mad race to get all things on my task list accomplished, while constantly adding to it so that it is perpetual. Perpetual. It’s insane. And so wrong.
And competition. Another huge ugh. Why do we compare ourselves to others? Especially in creative fields and business fields? I’ve got to land that deal, make that sale, get that promotion. I’ve got to sell more records, write more words, land that contract, get that part. I’ve got to associate with this person. I’ve got to become friends with that person. Knowing them will help advance my agenda/plan/goals/life/career—and the list goes on.
All of this brings to mind several words from scripture. The one that stands out to me the most is this, in Philippians 2:3-4:
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Do nothing, nothing, nothing from selfish ambition or conceit. Is all ambition selfish? No, I don’t think so. But, good grief, we’ve got to check our motives. I’ve got to check my motives. Each and every time. I can’t cut myself slack even one time.
In humility, count others more significant than yourselves. Why is this so hard? I don’t know, but it is. Pride is huge and ugly in my life. Monstrously huge and ugly. What’s even worse—I can do something for someone that “looks” like service, but isn’t really. Not really. No, instead I-way more often than I can even bear to be honest about-will do something that “looks” like I’m counting others more significant than myself, but in reality, I’m doing it to be seen. Ugh. Those are hard words to type.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Yes, we do have interests that we need to look after. If I didn’t hold down a job, I would be destitute and unable to provide for my family. If I didn’t pursue the things I am passionate about–such as writing–my soul would ache. But there is a big world out there that I can not ignore. Or, I guess I could, but I’d be going against the truth written here in Philippians. And, I’d be missing out on some incredible relationships.
I would be missing out on living. Here and now. In this messy world, with all it’s smart, funny, hurting, resilient, interesting, odd, people.
Love others, love others, love others, love others. This is what we are told over and over again in scripture. Donny seems to understand that. Donny is helping Tony to understand that.
I need Donny’s in my life.