Nobody cares until everybody does

This week the internet introduced me to a guy called Kofi who made a great album a couple of years back. If you like good words and chill beats I highly recommend it.

The title track is a great little story about people and making art…

One cold night in Birmingham city center, Kofi stood on a corner rapping as the world walked by.

For hours he spat into the void but folks were too busy Christmas shopping to stop and listen. He knew they could hear and he was happy doing his thing so he kept on going. For hours.

Eventually one person stopped by to listen to him and before too long a large crowd formed. Because when you’re creating, Nobody Cares Until Everybody Does.

And I’ll bet Kofi will be making music long after people stop caring because that is what we do when we decide to create.

Thanks for being the first to stop by and listen.

I hope you stick around.

Beware comforting stories

When people talk about identity what they’re saying is: “This is my story.”

Whether that’s where we came from, what we believe, the food we like or who we have sex with, it’s all part of our story.

For many years I told myself stories like, “I’m not a morning person,” or “I’m an introvert,” or “I can’t write every day,” or “rich people are bad,” or “stopping smoking is hard.”

Worst of all, I told myself I didn’t have anything to add to the world.

But no matter how many times I told myself those silly tales, deep inside I knew they weren’t true. And I was slowly killing myself trying to drown that little voice every time it spoke up to remind me so.

Because the stories we tell ourselves are the fluffy cushions that make our comfort zone so comforting. But they’re also the locks that keep us there.

Luckily, we hold the keys. And it’s never too late to change the story.

The girl with one eye

Once upon a beach, a girl with one eye said something about pain that still rings in my ears today.

She’d been flung off a speeding motorcycle and had faceplanted a tree stump. It was a miracle she’d survived. The impact took out half her skull, and I could still feel the steel plates in the back of her head.

Typically insensitive, I asked how she’d dealt with losing half her face at sixteen. She said,

“The worst thing that’s ever happened to me is the same as the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. You just get on with it.”

It wasn’t until many years later that I understood.

There isn’t a human alive that hasn’t suffered. And anyone’s hurt is just as valid as anyone else’s.

We might not be equal in wealth or status, but we’re equal in our experience of suffering. Our individual experiences of pain might be different, but we all share in our knowledge of it.

We all share in our trauma, one way or another.

That’s just what it means to be human.

 

60ft flying lizards and gold

It was always funny to me that dragons hoard gold.

In almost every story we have about a dragon, they harbour some deeply valuable and important treasure; the hero must outwit or outfight the beast to get it.

But why?

What does a giant flying lizard want with a pile of shiny metal or a bejewelled cup?

Dragons are a storytelling device; an ancient meme designed to teach us about life. They always hoard treasure because the thing we want the most is always where we least want to go.

If we want the gold, we must first leave our comfortable castles and slay the dragons of chaos within us.

Only then, can we live happily ever after.