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Before I started managing @waylandtheband back when I used to work for my Fortune 500 company, we had a luncheon in between meetings when I overheard a casual conversation two people were having in reference to being able to know what kind of person you were by if you put your shopping cart back or not. If you put your cart back, that meant you were considerate and compassionate, and if you didn’t you were probably selfish and an asshole.
I at one point also subscribed to judgments like these, (usually towards myself) until I moved onto a tour bus and traveled the country and saw what different experiences looked like through all walks of life, and I am here to tell you that I’ve seen a lot of really big assholes put their shopping carts back and a lot of the kindest people be struggling with five different things and they completely forgot about the damn thing.
I was reminded of this two nights ago when Phillip and I were grocery shopping and I received a very alarming phone call from my family that knocked the wind out of me literally and completely, and the last thing on my mind was a shopping cart. I almost tripped right over it to get into the car as fast as I could, and then judged myself for forgetting. This is a very SMALL example considering what I talk about with friends and family everyday.
Job loss, death, grief, diagnosis’, unemployment is running out, your landlord is kicking you out, you don’t know how you’re going to feed your kids. These topics are not unique and unfortunately they are more common than not “in this current climate.”
And YES, we might be all experiencing the same “climate,” but some of us are in front of a fireplace in a mansion with central heating, slippers, and a glass full of Bailey’s and others are outside in the snow without shoes. So, no thanks, it’s not the same.
You can’t expect anyone (including yourself) to be in service mode if you can’t make it out of survival mode. “Survival mode”creates hate, resentment, judgment, competition, “not enough-ness,” you against me, instead of “us” against “it”... “it” being the “climate” that is tsunami-ing/hurrican-ing/and volcano-ing at the same time all over everyone.
This isn’t an invitation to be lazy or inconsiderate. This isn’t suggesting we all stop helping. This is offering a different perspective to tune ourselves to. I would personally rather lyssten to the radio station broadcasting how we can help other people than the one that broadcasts all the reasons why people suck.
When COVID hit and we all found ourselves on lockdown, when depression number skyrocketed and suicide and domestic violence rates went up, we turned to music. The musicians, the artists, the storytellers, who offered us a glimmer of hope, a reminder of faith, and the a remembrance to the unity we all have forgotten. These musicians, most of them, are not sitting in front of fireplaces with cozy slippers. Most of them are in survival mode doing the best they can to get by, and fractions of a penny on a stream is not enough.
Musicians have proved, again, that they are just like you, and just like me, doing their best to survive. They have experienced enough heartache, devastation, and situations that cause pain so we have enough of that content to last a lifetime. We're ready to experience the emotions of bliss + joy and create from a space of that.
The next time you’re “Shopping For A Savior,” remember that shopping carts hold things, but they shouldn’t hold judgment. Compassion should come in free samples + you should pass them out everywhere.
Music is how I manage. “That’s Life” for when shit gets really heavy, and “Dirty Angelina” when I need to stop thinking about all of this.