It has been a long time since I have had the energy and desire to write a column. After three solid tours and writing the record of my career back with Killswitch Engage, I have been all consumed (not that that is a bad thing at all).
A lot has happened since June and in truth, I have met many people, traveled all over and gained a fresh perspective on life. I have found having time to oneself and changing up routines is very crucial to me. I find myself escaping the everyday “grind” of touring and doing interviews, meet and greets, etc. and exploring the various towns and cities we pass through.
Simply taking moments out of the day to feel some what “normal” is important to me. Having a barrage of people who praise, applaud or critique you on a daily basis is mentally and spiritually straining. I know, I get it — it comes with the territory, and believe you me, I am not complaining at all. I have worked many jobs over the past 10 years and I do not wish to trade places with anyone. Nonetheless, we all need to “unplug” or “mellow out;” for the working class (which is very much my roots and who I identify with), there is weekends to unwind and be free of the job.
That being said, I have been in various situations at bars, restaurants or just enjoying being an anonymous observer of people on the streets. I hear conversations and observe behaviors of normal everyday people as well as bands, crew and people who work in the music industry. It is an interesting dichotomy of life and one word comes to mind: “Considerate.”
How many people do you know are truly considerate? Are you? It blows my mind how self-involved we can all be in our daily life; I know I am. I have moments where I have to check myself, hold my tongue or just stop and reflect on a situation before reacting. Being self-aware is a trait that is rare in people and something you have to work on daily.
People have no problem back-stabbing or disregarding others. I have watched people, couples, friends argue and fight over the simplest, stupidest things and at the root of it all is “consideration.” I have heard people literally tear other person to shreds behind their back and even exaggerate to make their story better at the expense of another person’s integrity. OK…so what is my point?
What if that person was you? How would you feel if you were being slandered or had some one spreading half truths about you? Exactly. Unless you are a “nihilist” (you wouldn’t be a a true nihilist if you are reading this column; in fact, if you are a nihilist, you may have serious mental issues and I hope you figure that out some day), you would not be happy. Even if you are a “tough” person with “thick skin,” deep down, people’s words and/or actions effect us whether we know it or not.
It’s like the “bully” at school that picks on everyone and you find out his dad beats him and abuses him mentally, physically or what have you. We are products of our environments. This is also how people become over privileged ego maniacs in the world of entertainment and celebrity. Trust me, I know a few.
When people constantly praise you and tell you how amazing you are, if you don’t have a humble upbringing or true friends to ground you, it changes you. If only parents raised their children correctly, but we all know that is going to be an ongoing problem. No one is perfect right? So what about you, seriously — what about you?
The only reason I write these columns is to connect with some one out there, to share my miniscule yet hope filled perspective (and hopefully make you, the reader, think a bit). So I ask the obvious rhetorical question: Are you considerate to people in your daily life or are you just out for yours?
Really think about it if you will. I believe we all want to think we are good people…I know I do. In truth, we all have work to be good people. It is a matter of if you care to strive to change and create change. If you have read my previous columns or my lyrics, it is evident I am striving, but I realize this is a life long journey and it takes effort…you have to “care.”
In closing, as I have said before, be aware of the world around you. We live in a self-serving world, especially here in the United States. People who have much often do not give to those who do not. Our society of capitalism encourages us to worship money and materialism. Our way of life is: work until you become rich or die trying. There is so much distraction from what is truly important in this life: family, friendship, enjoying the simple things in life, being considerate of one another, our words, our actions and of the earth we live on and take from…so why not give something back?
Down to the simplest action such as letting a person with less items go ahead of you when you have a full cart of groceries…you may laugh. Yes it seems stupid but how do you know what effect that little action may have on some one else? Granted, they may not care at all…but that’s the price you pay for consideration — it isn’t all about you, it’s about us just striving to make the world a better place to live in.
Amidst all of the chaos and darkness in this world as long as there is a little light to shine on a daily basis, there is hope for the human race. This is just my two cents, for what it’s worth. Thanks for reading and here’s to a bright and healthy new year!
See you on the road!
Usually my videos have a direct correlation to my column, but this is what I was listening to while writing and quite frankly, Mastodon are great dudes, proud to call them friends and they are a great band that has truly created their own sound regardless of genre…they deserve as much attention as they can get so here yah go.