Keep It Simple, Stupid.
It was 9th grade, and my eccentric Health Education teacher had just taught me one of the most important phrases I would ever learn: keep it simple, stupid. It stuck with me, and it pops up every now and then, reminding me to always focus on the things that really matter. I'd like to thank him kindly for our lesson, wherever he is.
As the spring time holidays approach, I'm reminded of the importance of this simplicity. To take a moment to breathe, reflect and digest. I may sound a little preachy, but don't we all need to put things into perspective sometimes? The things we take for granted are so often not the focus of our daily routine. Health, love, food, shelter, and sunshine are only some of the simple things we oversee by the complications of our minds. Instead of seizing moments, we get stuck in our heads and let time fly by. Goodness slips out of our fingers. And in a way, much like the story in Egypt, we become slaves - only to our own actions (or non-actions).
Which is precisely why I chose Melody Gardot as a featured artist in this week's article. She embodies gratitude. While bicycling in Philadelphia back in 2003, Melody was struck by a Jeep that ran a red light. She suffered severe head and spinal injuries, resulting in sensory and memory loss among other things. Yet Melody turned her travail into triumph. During her time in hospital care, she began using musical therapy as a way to heal her mental wounds. Melody picked up a guitar, and started writing songs to form new pathways in her brain. And what she created was simply magic. Her voice is timeless, carrying a sound and lyrical style that never dies. Listening to her reminds me of this simplicity.
One of my favorite books, The Alchemist, taught me that you must always look at what you have first and foremost. After all, those who search far and wide for clarity, return to find the treasure in their own back yards. Focus on your treasure. Wrap your mind around what you have. Melody did it in much worse off circumstances.
Remember to give to others. Listen more than you speak. Forgive and let go. Show thanks. And most of all, face every day as an opportunity instead of a challenge. Truly enjoy every bite of your holiday meals, as you are surrounded with family and friends. Happy Holidays to you, and as always, enjoy the music.