From a Distance

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

I have really good vision. I can usually read road signs way before anyone else in the car can. I can read the last line on the eye doctors chart. I have been known to be called Eagle Eyes a couple times in my life. A couple of months ago I found out that these Eagle Eyes are getting old, or at least getting far sighted. You can imagine my devastation as I sat down at the eye glasses table to try on new glasses to help my problem. Once I got my glasses it was like I was seeing a whole new world (I think there is a Disney song about that). Interesting enough, when we get up close we can start seeing people more clearly. People always look good from a distance.

Distance is safety and control. These two things are something that we all clamor for. If we can be safe and in control things look good, but as soon as we become vulnerable and lose control things get crazy. The same can be said about who we are following. I always remember as a kid looking up to people and thinking they were incredibly tall. It amazed me at how big they looked. This amazement went away as I hit my teenage years. Maybe it was reality setting in, or maybe it was because I was now eye to eye with the people I looked up to, but things looked different. In a world that makes all things public and yet keeps things very surface level, seeing things up close can bring a reality to who we are following. People look different when you are up close and personal.

There are a lot of things you do not know about me. I am sure there is a lot of things that I do not know about you. in this online world we can look however we want and can create a persona that we wish we had. I will never forget meeting a guy that I have been following for a long time on his blog and twitter stream and him telling me later that I was a completely different person in “real life” then I was on the web. That bothered me for a while. I thought I was the same, acted the same, talked the same, and looked the same. But I was missing the fact that from a distance we all look different. From a distance we all can look a certain way.

This has become painfully obvious in the people we follow. It amazes me how much we go after knowing everything about “famous” people and then become shocked to find out they are not who we thought they were. Sometimes I wonder why we want to know so much about someone. I think the main reason is we want to be able to be close to them and not held at a distance. This leads us to follow every word they say on twitter, watch every interview they give, and hope for the chance to be their friend. Only to find out that they were not who we thought they were. I think we do this with ourselves as well. We stand at a distance from God and hide things, keeping Him far away and keeping us in charge of our lives.

This new year I am working on being up close and personal. Instead of creating a look, a feel, or even a persona, I want to be someone who looks the same from a distance to up close and personal. Not only with friends, but with God, I am working on letting down the barriers that keep things safe more me. The web may create some distance between us all, but it does not leave the excuse to be someone else.

How are you being the same person from a distance and up close?


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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Austin Lee

    I'd rather not know too much about my “heroes” like Michael Jordan. A small part of my childhood was tarnished when he gave his HOF induction speech.

    I realized that night that I probably don't want to know too much about famous people. They are just as screwed up as I am, and I have a hard enough time coming to terms with my own crap.

    • @kylelreed

      What is interesting is that we have celebrities. Usually the reason we have celebrities is because we promote something they can do better then us, way better then us. But when you really get down to it all you realize that they are just like you, confused and trying to find happiness.

  • Andy Unnerstall

    First of all, you need to look up the song “D.D.F.” by an old Tooth and Nail band called The Cootees.

    Second of all: the ever-present quest for authenticity. This failure in the 'up-close' examination is all too evident in recent sports celebrity culture. Former great heroes like Tiger Woods, Mark McGwire, and even as a previous poster said, Michael Jordan, have failed the deeper inspection. The hardest ones to take are the people closest to you. I recently experienced this with my dad. I still love my dad, but he doesn't quite hold the same place in my people-I-turn-to-for-advice ranking.

    The struggle between perception and reality is such a difficult one. My personal goal has been to be as transparent and as true to myself at all times as possible, but in a society based on first impressions, it's never an easy thing to do. I think your most striking point, though, is the one about being authentic with God. Despite the fact that he is our creator and knows our innermost being, we still try to hide with our fig leaf clothes. It really is comical, but difficult to overcome.

    • @kylelreed

      Andy, I will check out the band.
      It is tough to be yourself and let others see you for who you are. I think it takes a long time to build that relationship with someone, which is tough because you want to be real and honest and yet if people do not know who you are it makes it very difficult.

      And yes it is comical how we try and trick God. Like we can deceive Him into think we have it all figured out or that we are better then we look.

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