This is not only a great song but also probably my favourite music video of all time. (I cannot say favourite as I would have to have been debating this back and forth for more years than I have been living to come to a concrete conclusion.) The video itself sings to my heart and has my jaw tightening all at the same time.
I’ll explain: The man advertising the Condos is probably earning next to nothing for himself / his family but earning a handsome profit for some property tycoon who has either had opportunities-a-plenty delivered to his doorstep or who has invested so much of their time on building their success at the expense of relationships / life experiences that they now have a lifestyle to die for. Yet it is not the rich, seemingly successful property tycoon that is the focus of this video. Instead we are invited to witness the clear joy and talents of the young man left without opportunity to develop or to ‘succeed’ – or succeed at least as our society would see it and the 3 mins of joy this young man is able to share in the face of adversity.
To me this video highlights the gap between the rich and poor and this never ending cycle of lack of opportunity vs opportunity and I love to use it in my English classes with young people to pose these questions and get them thinking about the world we live in and what truly matters. But what is also highlights for me is that success is not something so easily measured; yes, the property tycoons amongst us are seemingly successful but that depends on what we are equating success with. For me, the young man in the video appears to be successful as despite being in a low-paying job with little or no prospects, he still manages to smile and spread joy to others – and the tycoon is nowhere to be seen (perhaps a clear message about the insignificance of money in the grand scheme of things).
This precise life lesson, is what I witnessed today in the well-being centre I volunteer in. Today I met a group of women of a range of ages with a range of different health and social problems who united for 2 hours, holding one another up, seeing the value and gifts and talents of each of the other women and offering themselves uncensored in order to support one another, help each other to grow and to create a beautifully positive environment where they could all thrive – and I got to witness it, that is, being human, right before my eyes. Not one person questioned another in terms of what level they were educated to; not one person asked about jobs / wages / how their children were schooled; no one thought to ask what their plans were for their career or what car they drive and where the house is situated and if they own it – they only shared their experiences with a view to helping themselves and each other. I could have cried at their honesty, their bravery and their sheer strength after what each woman had been through and was still going through. It taught me something about life and about myself. We are all the same – some are just better at pretending than others and I will make it my goal to help people overcome their perception of themselves against what they have been made to feel is their reality. I will help them to realise their worth, the gifts they have to give to the world and their place here – simply because that is life, right there. Not scrambling over one another to have things we don’t need. It was the one of the most ‘human’ experiences I have ever witnessed.
I find it particularly beautiful in life that often those with the least to give, will give the most, time and time again and that is a truly wonderful thing – I’m so glad I had one day like this, where anything was possible and no one carried an unnecessary label around with them, that weighed them down everywhere they went.
One day like this a year would see me right, for life!
Please keep your eye on my blog over the next few weeks as I will be updating and changing tack. I started this blog as a place to share my creative writing but now I will be trying to put it to better use as my new role as a Creative Writing Teacher in a well-being Centre where social prescribing is used, has enabled me to better realise the true potential of creative writing for therapy. I will ensure that my blog is a place for everyone, irrespective of circumstance, to share their true self because I believe we all have our demons, it’s just that some are better at hiding theirs than others.
Peace, love and understanding,