Finding Old Footage of Myself Helps Me Empathize with Younger People

in #empathy2 years ago (edited)

"Hi, I'm Brandon from ten years ago."

Brandon ten years ago.png

I found this old video rummaging around YouTube. Watching it, I was a bit embarrassed--my style; my abilities on camera.

Then it struck me that pretty much all of us will have video of ourselves from decade's past. And while most reactions to this modern "life on camera" phenomenon are negative--every mistake of ours is captured--I saw a positive.

As I watched myself, I realized how much I've grown since this recording--personally and professionally (and even a bit physically as my face was quite thin here). Recognizing growth is empowering.

Also, by being humbled in watching my 20-something self, I will be less inclined to judge others in these years. For example, I watch a young athlete or performer make a mistake. Or I hear of a young entrepreneur or politician making a bad choice. Maybe he affected the outcome of the game. Maybe she endorsed what I consider to be a harmful cause.

I don't have to like the action, of course. But I'll have more empathy for this young individual, because this footage from my past helps me not forget the experience of being that age.