Anybody remember LexisNexis?
When I was in grade school I remember utilizing this cutting-edge technology for research papers and various homework assignments.
I’m 31 years old now. I’m not that far removed from grade school…I can literally access any piece of history or information that I desire from the internet nestled ever so nicely on the home screen of my cell phone.
This access to information has allowed me to know a lot of things about a lot of different subjects, including people. This access has also popularized otherwise normal people into super-stardom and made already famous people even more accessible.
This reality was made all the more evident to me 7 years ago.
In April 2009 my buddy Ryan & I went on a baseball trip to the east coast. Amy & I had recently found out we were pregnant with Carter so we took this trip prior to Carter’s arrival in August.
The last game we attended on our trip was in Boston at the historic Fenway Park. To make things even more euphoric the Yankees were in town. The tickets we purchased via eBay were in the 2nd row right by the Yankees bullpen in right field.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning a recent call-up for the Yankees was warming up in the bullpen. I knew almost immediately he was simply getting work in and wasn’t scheduled to enter the game. After all, Yankee great Andy Pettitte was on the hill.
As soon as this kid starting throwing his bullpen session, Red Sox fans started throwing verbal “pitches” of their own at him that would have penetrated even the thickest of skin.
To say these fans did their homework on opposing teams would be a gross understatement. When the Yankees are in town though, the research done by such fans is exponentially increased.
They were yelling the name of his sister, his parents, and even the grade school he attended. The information they were armed with was clever, albeit a bit creepy.
If the vulgarity in their taunts (think thick Boston accents) hadn’t turned me off so much it would have been pretty entertaining. Fine…some of it was hilarious. After about 25 pitches he decided to call it quits and sit back down on the bullpen bench.
Now here is my thought…did those Red Sox fans really know this young pitcher? Or did they just know a lot about him?
Let’s flesh that thought out a little bit…
Google, Twitter, blogs, and other content mediums can enlighten and inundate you with gobs of information immediately. As mentioned before we can learn about people we look up to, we can learn about people’s past history, and we can even learn about people’s interests…
But do we as a society really know each other?
When I was running Tyros – Zooom App back in 2011-2013 and we were courting new clients we did extensive research on their careers. We knew a lot about our clients before and during the time we were pursuing them.
Now, remember this: before we ever met these clients in person and got to know them personally we already knew a lot of information about them.
In our society, with the way information is accessible to us, we are unable to distinctly separate the difference between knowing about people and knowing people.
This has tragically played out in the space of human interaction. Mainly in the desecration of family units. I see it in my generation and those in younger generations. We think because we can access a lot of information about somebody, then we know them personally. That line is beyond blurred…it’s almost completely erased from our reality.
The even scarier arena this is playing out in is the Christian faith. I’ve sat across broken people at the Christian hipster hot-spot known as Starbucks and heard the same desperate plea on repeat, “I grew up in the church. I know all of the bible stories. I feel like I know all about Jesus. I don’t know what is missing?”
I have to look at these people and say, “You know a lot about Jesus. Do you know Him personally though?”
We need to understand we can read the bible cover to cover. We can feed the poor. We can be nice and never know Jesus personally.
Now, I obviously don’t detest technology or the bible for that matter. But personal relationships are deeper than just knowledge.
But if you’ll allow me to continue challenging you…I’m going to try and articulate this in the most profound way ever.
So profound in fact that I hope it sticks with you and alters the way you interact with your spouse, children, family, and friends. Here it is:
Simply, give a crap about people.
Learn their heart. Ask what their story is. Give a rip about the fabric of what makes them who they are.
The depth of people will never cease to amaze and move my spirit.
Be present. Relish in the moment. Don’t just be a fan.