Be Human

These days are pretty interesting. With politics and society changing and sexism or racism and everything else going on, the world is slowly losing more empathy towards their fellow man. Some of this is caused because of their honest disdain towards groups of people, but it also is caused by the neutrality or passive nature, or nurtured nature, of everyday people. "Oh it's not my problem" or "It's so far from here."

Why do I bring this up on a music site? The cliche, music is the universal language, but what exactly are we "talking" about? Well, the truth, honestly. The fact is that our creative instinct is tied to our being. We all want to make something, either a career, a family, a piece of art, and anything we create is thereby an extension of ourselves, whether it's a good, bad, appropriate or inappropriate creation. If then, we cut off our humanity, our ability to create honestly is severed. This is the difference of playing technically perfect and musically perfect, allowing the emotion to speak. 

So, when we as musicians either hold disdain for a certain person or thing, we lose our ability to connect with them. Now I'm not saying by connecting you agree with it, but you're actually being compassionate towards it, respecting the choice or belief on the principle that those people have the right or will to believe or do what they want, you in turn give yourself freedom to either strengthen your own beliefs or actions or update or even change them. I thought pressed buzz strokes were stupid, but when I allowed myself to respect that people liked it for certain reasons, I opened my mind to it and eventually found a way to make it work for me. Now that's a very trivial example but the same is true for cultural exchanges. We probably wouldn't have certain things or traditions had we not been open to our neighbors ideas or actions. 

All this to say, really observe how you treat or think of your fellow man. Are these thoughts justified or are they simply a "jumping on the bandwagon" opinion? Even if you disagree, do you still respect the person or the culture? This of course is not easy to do because often we are raised to despise not only the action or belief but the people who believe or do it. The only way to connect with people is to connect with the person, not their actions or beliefs. How can we make music and connect with anyone if we hate them, or disregard them or think lower of them than other people. Would you play for royalty the same way as a homeless man or woman? Would you play for a convicted murderer the same as a priest? 

These are the kinds of questions I ask myself, because ultimately, everyone is broken in some way, and unless we stay open and loving, we can't give them the healing they desperately need. Even a murderer deserves to be healed, because they are suffering, even if they aren't aware of it. If I can bring someone like that back into his or her humanity, then that's something powerful, and music, any art really, has the power to accomplish that. That's what we should aspire to. Changing lives for the better and not segregating our music or any art, only for these people or good people or people we like. That's how we can liberate not only the world, but ourselves.

Open up your heart, even if it's hard, and it often is, you gotta stay open. You can't grow without space, so open your space! All we have is our one heart, so it has to break in order to be rebuilt and made stronger, and we constantly have to do that or else we become stale and zombie like. So every heartbreak leads to a rebuilding, and the more this happens, the more human we become! That's how we know we're even alive in the first place, we feel things! We feel our joy, we feel our pain and if we deny or hide ourselves from any feeling, we risk losing all feeling! Feel bad so you know what good is, feel love so you know what heartbreak is and hate so you learn if it's justified or not; through all of these we gain awareness of their truths, and through that awareness we become better, wiser, more human. That's amazing!

As artists we have, more than an obligation, but a calling to be human. We have to be messengers to the world and show them how to be more human through our mediums. Actors show the humanity of situations in life through plays and scenes, etc. Artists show the humanity of visions and imagery, etc. Dancers show the humanity of movement and motion, etc. And we show the humanity of the intangible, the audible and the inaudible. Let's go for that! That's what's worth working for, that's what's worth living for, that's what's worth dying for.