I had the pleasure of being a guest on Define the Fight with Mariah Prussia and another Veteran today. It was an amazing experience! Make sure you check out her documentary “Prussia” on Amazon Prime! Feel free to listen to the interview by clicking the link below: #definethefight #ptsme
Watching events unfold across this beautiful country, I struggled to find something that maybe everyone may have in common, or could agree that is good for all. Impossible task you say? A week ago I would have agreed with you, then it hit me.
Regardless of race, color, religion, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, there is something. It does not matter where you are from, what you do, what you did, or will do, there is something. Something so available, something so simple and infectious it cannot be stopped.
Music. A melody of a guitar, African drum, didgeridoo, Erhu, it does not matter. Music is in all of us. A raw form of expression, emotion, and piece of soul that is shared to the world. A universal language that needs no words, yet everyone can hear and even understand.
Adding the written word to music makes it even more powerful. Adding a political platform because of a successful music career is exploiting music as a whole. A person does not even need to understand the language to get even a small understanding of what a musician is trying to convey. Music at some point, has had nearly everyone stop and say, “This is my jam” or can simply associate with even the simplest song. A parent’s lullaby to a baby or a ripping hair metal power ballad, they go beyond just words, they grab you and hold on for just a short time.
The Blues told detailed stories of the deep south and was the foundation of so many other genres of music. Opera was derived from storytelling of Greek Mythology. Country Music started with fiddle players from the Southern Appalachian Mountains who told their stories in the common language of music.
Is this a cure, nope. Is a start, maybe. Is music an important part of every culture, I most definitely believe that. Humans tend to associate with music of theirs and other cultures, and that is a beautiful thing.
My point is this: We live in the greatest country in the world, and if you do not care for it, the world is a large place, I encourage you to go explore it and find your utopia. And if you do, I guarantee music helped shape wherever it is you land.
I too associate with a demographic, but it is quite different that some of the craziness that we see on television and news outlets. You see, my demographic has is color blind. My demographic relies on the strength of different opinions. My demographic is a brother and sisterhood that stands together in the face of adversity. My demographic is that I am an American. As an American, music, specifically the National Anthem represents my brothers and sisters. More importantly our National Anthem is a reminder why we have the rights to protest peacefully, own a business, go to school, speak out. It also reminds of the cost of these opportunities and freedoms. Changing something that represents Americans is nothing more that encouraging division. We all have rights, and our rights are going to infringe on each other’s from time to time. It happens. I will not always agree with you, but that does not mean we cannot have a beer. That difference, that conversation, that is what makes America great. We must learn from our past, no human can change then, only now. If it takes something as beautiful as music to have people actually listen, count me in.
Thank you to the musicians I know for not only playing, but creating some of the best music out there. Alyssa Ruffin, Blind Joe, Josh Frank, Josh Kehr, TACOCAT, Black Light Nightmare, Corndog Kings. Take a listen to what these very different individuals have to say through their music, maybe we can all learn something.
From my observations, the different organizations in this craziness have more in common than differences. Both seek “justice” at some level. Justice for a dead man, and justice for the person who caused his death. The organizations are large and funded. Both have legitimate concerns. Both watch this video and are disgusted.
Most importantly, they want the world to know that a small group within each respective organization, BLM, Police, and others, do not represent the values of the whole. Riot instigators causing problems during legitimate, legal, and peaceful protests. Known problem officers that conduct themselves in a manner that 99.9% of other officers would never approve.
This is a two way street. What these organizations must realize is the street traveled is actually a one-way with the same destination, justice. Words are weapons for good and bad. Seek the good words. Listen to the words and not the noise created by media outlets. If no one is listening and blame is placed on the whole, each organization negates their purpose and becomes exactly what they protest.
Storms break and in the middle the light of truth shines.
There will always be bad actors, together we hold them, I say again, together we hold them, the responsible individuals accountable. That is where you will find the justice you seek.
I have noticed something lately, and it’s not a negative thing and definitely deserves attention. During these strange times, it’s obvious how negative stories can dominate headlines, because apparently that is the news. Yet right in front of all of us are real acts of kindness, heart, and compassion.
I am seeing true American ingenuity. For example, several of our fitness experts and gym owners like Dion Sgro, Mariah Prussia, and April Imholte are providing online workouts for people to do in their homes. I am seeing parents teaching their children about cooking, conserving resources, and using technology to teach their children who are currently at home due to this situation. People like Rozalyn Howery taking her children on virtual tours of many places in the world through the internet and reading books.
Our small businesses, like restaurants are offering carryout services. These Americans are still there, still serving our communities.
Even social clubs are encouraging online groups to help maintain some socialization. It’s different, but allows some level of interaction and a breath of normal.
American resilience and ingenuity has always prevailed, and always will. We can take a lesson from those like Teresa Terry who understand the gravity of these times, but know how to find the best in not only the situation, but their fellow Americans, encouraging people to remember compassion.
People like Dave Jopp who encourage music and keep people entertained through radio.
People like Sandy Zok who offer their expertise to those who may need some type of social service.
People like Josh Kehr, who continues to play excellent music and offers help to those who may need deliveries or anything else.
These are just a small sample of the positive things happening during this time.
In the end, this virus, like any other virus or crisis, does not discriminate against your skin color, past, present, ethnicity, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. In the end, we will prevail as we always have. In the end, we are all still human. Be kind and compassionate to those most vulnerable in our society.
Reach out should you need help, it is out there. Support your local small businesses, neighbors, and friends. Thank you for being a great American.
The Scars That No One Knows
It’s neither late nor early,
Time doesn’t matter,
The television blares with meaningless chatter.
The cursor blinks in time with my eye,
The page is empty,
No explanation of why.
Grasping consequences from the path which I have come,
I want to feel nothing,
Close my eyes and finish the bottle of rum.
The scars on my body are not near those of my mind,
On the outside there are few,
inside so many to which you are blind.
As the warm sun rises and the first bird sings,
I pause to notice it’s song but know still,
For those I care, I will do unspeakable things.
One good deed seemingly punished by another,
Yet there would be no hesitation,
To save the life of a sister or brother.
Ignorant stigma draws cold judgment and remand,
Yet I am still here,
Already having endured more that most could stand.
Yes, there is a price to pay, and daily the cost grows,
The debts are paid in full,
Leaving the scars which no one knows.
In case you missed it, feel free to click the link below to listen to my radio interview on the Heroes of the Heartland Radio program from this morning! Thank you all so much for the continued support for this project! I used to say it meant the world to me, and it does, but now I am starting to see that there is a bigger picture. Thank you for all the phone calls, texts, and emails. Keep them coming!
Don’t call me a voice over specialist by any means! I decided to try this out. Attached are the audio files of PTS ME. If you have time, like nearly 8 hours, please give them a listen. I am happy to share this journey in the hopes that others can identify and move forward in their lives. This is by no means the professional version, but I did the best I could with my podcast equipment.
The PTS ME Kindle and paperback are available on Amazon:
Please take a listen!