“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” J.K. Rowling
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
A major portion of my life was spent in the world of music, and I loved it. There were parts that were distasteful, but for the most part, it was the time of my life.
The music business is competitive, you want your band to be seen and heard.
It was understood that if you practiced your butt off, performed every gig you could get, that slowly, but surely, you would see the results. At the age of twelve, as a drummer, my band wanted to play at the party or the teen center, so we were competing with others to get those coveted paying gigs. Performing in “The Battle of the Bands” said it all. Every band wanted to win the prize, a trophy and cash. Back then, “The Battle of the Bands”, were sponsored by the local Jaycees of that particular town or city.
The Jaycees (The United States Junior Chamber), is a leadership training and civic organization for people between the ages of 18 and 40. Their areas of emphasis are business development, management skills, individual training, community service, and international connections.
The community service part of the Jaycees was a huge piece of the pie for winning one of their sponsored competitions. At the age of fifteen and sixteen, my band, “Resistance”, won a few of those competitions which led to more work and advertising for the band. The business connections of the Jaycees gave us opportunities to be in newspaper articles and radio spots. Heck, there were some days we would skip school just to hear the radio announcements about our band. Our competitive spirit to win, enabled the band, “Resistance”, to perform at Jaycee sponsored teen dances, splash parties and community events. As a band, we were in seventh heaven to have these paying gigs.
As a young man, my band had to compete even more to stay gainfully employed, we had to be better.
My years spent in the music business were highly competitive and it could get down and dirty. For the most part, I was able to work with like-minded agents and managers who wanted to do the right thing in business, still competitive, but the need to be cut-throat to one another was avoided.
And then I entered the mental health, trauma and abuse arena…and I was in for a rude awakening. I understood competition and gaining a leg up in the music world and in business. But I still remain confused and saddened by the amount of back-stabbing and the down and dirty politics of what is supposed to be a ‘healing community‘.
This is only a short blog, it is not meant to be an expose on what ails this community of ours. Someday down the road, I will write more extensively on what I have witnessed.
But I do hope, that in this simple piece of sharing some music and thoughts of the need to stand together, that maybe, we might start something here. I do not have the answers to this dilemma, I don’t. Other than to treat one another with compassion and respect – why can’t we all lift one another up, and not look at this as a competition as to who gets what.
“Staying together as one unit. Nobody letting their ego take over the team.” Michael Phillips
Unfortunately, we lose too many good folks who could be helping in raising awareness on the issues of trauma, abuse and mental health. All of our issues are important, we have all been hurt and marginalized, that is our common bond. We could unite on that piece alone and march on Washington, DC to demand what is right in treatment, dignity and a place in society.
Someday, I hope to be a part of the march of one million surviving spirits….
Please take a few minutes listen one of my favorite rock bands, Shinedown. I love a good hard rock band that writes great tunes and matches the music with lyrics of substance. And please, don’t be scared by the words, hard rock, this band can play and this guy can sing. It is not screaming noise, there is melody here.
We can all learn from the example of the young girl in this video….
Take care, Michael Skinner
“Alone we are like one drop, united we are like an ocean.” Ryunosuke Satoro
The single was released March 13, 2012, from Shinedown‘s fourth studio album, Amaryllis.
“‘Unity‘ is a song about uniting the world as one. It’s about loving your brothers and sisters. We’re all in this together and we should be building each other up instead of tearing each other down!” Shinedown vocalist Brent Smith
Shinedown – Unity [OFFICIAL VIDEO] – YouTube 4:37 minutes
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
Your thoughts or a song that speaks to you; contact me