Authenticity (or, Deep Thoughts from Sesame Street)

Olivia’s been into watching Sesame Street videos on youTube lately. So into it, in fact, that she’ll walk up to our closed laptop, point to it and start singing “Elmo’s Song”. So her parents have also been watching a lot of Sesame Street videos lately too :). But there’s one video that I’ve found myself watching, particularly for what happens at the very end.

Feist sings her toddlerified version of “1234” (watch it here or below). It’s a fun song and all, but at the very end the video seems to fade for a moment too long, giving us a glimpse into something we weren’t supposed to see. Feist, after bowing and pausing, screams and pumps her fist! Olivia loves watching her with the puppets and animals, but it’s that moment at the end that I never miss.

After watching the video too many times, I wondered, why am I so drawn to this final moment in the video? I think I’m drawn to it for the same reason that we like seeing actors crack up at their own comedy, or why we’re captivated when a speaker tears up as they speak. It’s in those moments that we catch a glimpse of authenticity.

Do you really believe the words you’re saying? Are you really enjoying yourself on stage, or is it just a show? Did you just say “Have a nice day” because the corporation requires it, or did you mean it? We’re looking for an authentic human connection in our many interactions throughout the day. And we’re delighted when we find that the “act” isn’t just an act, it’s authentic.

Does Feist enjoy singing with puppets? Is she just in it for the money? That final frame says all we need to know.

Ok, here it is, make sure you watch to the end…


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