The story behind Soul Fam’s new release, Envision, and how the gift of poetry and music carried one artist into a place of love and compassion.
This week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. Probably for you too. When I first found out about the situation in Paris, my heart ached for all those innocent people. I’m sure yours did too.
The next emotion that came up was anger. I wasn’t only angry that we live in a world where young children grow up to become misguided men who want to hurt others, but also that we live in a world where it sometimes feels like many people are apathetic. I then became angry that one of the largest companies in the world, Facebook, became “selectively empathetic.” While I appreciate that they gave us the option to change our profile picture to the French flag, I didn’t appreciate that they didn’t give the option to choose the flags from Kenya, Syria, Lebanon, and all the other countries that have experienced terrorism. The support seemed very lop-sided to me. It made me feel like there was some sort of political war-agenda and emotional manipulation happening by the mainstream news. I became frustrated that certain events get more press and coverage than others. Frustrated that we just emotionally react for the moment, and then move on to the next headline. (for instance — What ever happened to Kony?)
If I’m being honest, I found myself spending a couple of days spiraling; being angry, being judgmental, and feeling helpless. But then I woke up this morning, and had the realization that noticing the problem does not change the problem. While of course, awareness is a critical first step, action is the absolute necessary step. I then realized that I can focus all my energy on trying to destroy the old world, or I can spend my energy on trying to create a better one.
Each person has a gift that they can give to this world. For me, it was music and poetry. So I asked myself, instead of just ranting on Facebook, or in personal conversations, what can I do with that time to spread some light? To convert that anger into love? So I jumped on my computer and started editing a music video to the song that I just recorded. The timing of it was very relevant, as this particular song was all about envisioning peace. After hours of tapping into this place of love, I realized that it felt much better to create something than to destroy something. It feels much better to contribute to spreading love, than to contribute to destroying hate. Because ultimately, hate only exists from a lack of love. Darkness only exists from the absence of light.
This does not mean that we shouldn’t feel what we feel, or be socially active and spread awareness. It just means that we shouldn’t spiral too deeply and let it override the good we can do with our time, energy, and talents.
While for me, it’s story-telling, for others it can be volunteering. Some will become politically active. Some will simply smile at strangers more often. These little things go a long way. I sometimes think about these terrorists and I wonder who they would have become if they were taught compassion and love at a young age. If one stranger smiled at them or made them feel love, or if one book changed the way they thought about this life. We must truly think about the long-term game and start fixing the roots, rather than the branches; the cause, rather than the symptoms.
So once again, it’s okay to feel what you feel and to be politically active, but don’t become so drained by it, that you’re left with no energy to contribute to the new world we’re creating. Because ultimately, even with all the negative things we hear on the news, we must remember that this is still the safest time to be alive. (You can look up the statistics to back this up).
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Photo: Youtube/Soul Fam