In the wake of the senseless tragedy in Orlando, I remind myself that hate fosters more hate. I am afraid and in life, I believe we should always try to embrace whatever we are feeling. My piano teacher, Frank Ponzio, quoted from Nelson Mandela's inaugural speech in '94, from a piece written by Marianne Williamson (who was in turn inspired by Emerson). What struck me the most in that speech, were the following lines:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us
Your playing small does not serve the world
As we let our own light shine, we give other people permission to do the same
As we are liberated from our own fear, our prescience automatically liberates others"
These words remind me that we should not be controlled by fear. It robs us of any real power to do great things. When I wrote my current song, "A Prayer", it was because the threat of war and terrorism scare me but I still had hope for the incredible world and country I live in. As sappy as that sounds, it's true. I miss the days when art spoke more of what was going on in the world and wrapped it up in unforgettable tunes. Ones like, Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", Stevie Wonder's, "Love's in Need of Love Today", John Lennon's "Imagine", and the list goes on. LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING must win if we are to survive. But for now, there are people and families in Orlando, in need of physical and emotional healing. They must be our focus. As a nation, we are at our greatest when we our lifting up our people, when we are pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and then grabbing the hand of the person next us and pulling them up too. Let art continue to convey our world's story and always, let the music bare our soul.