Thank You T-Swift (A Country Lesson in Leadership)
In the month and change since my last post, much has taken place in my life and in the world of popular culture. Here's review:
- Happy New Year!!!
- Went to the DR with some amazing students to represent MCS and learn about Cross Cultural Studies. Missed my family like crazy the entire time, came back with awesome coffee and grew more confident in our role at the school.
- Super Bowl recap: What happened to the Broncos? #worstSuperBowlEver
- People really seem to like Kevin Hart and Lego.
- Welcome to the world Maya Jimenez!
- Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!
- Go Canada Go!!!
And then there were the Grammys, a.ka. The night where music celebrates itself and its muses with golden statues, platitudes and mash up performances that really don't make sense on paper (That said, best performances were: Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar with backup band Imagine Dragons...that's it. I DVR'd it and rewatched those ones a lot. Liam loves the "obots"! ). And while much was made about Christian artist Natalie Grant's leaving the show and her love for "...singing about Jesus for Jesus...", I think something out of that night was forgotten and with that, a special lesson left to be learned.
I should set this up...
Throughout the run-up to the Grammys, many music pundits aimed to predict who would win specific awards. Many magazines/journalists/blogs felt that Taylor Swift's RED would win Album of the Year over Daft Punk, Sara Bareilles, Kendrick Lamar (who's robbery of all rap awards inspired many hip hop fans to now hate Macklemore...and pushed Macklemore to admit his bittersweet win should have been Kendrick's) & the aforementioned Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Ms Swift, known at the beginning of her career for singing great pop/country tunes and putting guys on blast, has grown into the IT girl of all music, and rightly so. I'm not a country fan, but the girl can write well, is pretty funny (she did well hosting SNL a few years back), and so on and so on. She also does that face.
You know. The face.
The face that says "Who MEEE?" The face that was endearing at the beginning of her career but became a bit jarring as time went on...to the point where it became a joke on SNL, among other media outlets?
Yup that face.
Well at the Grammys the face was on full display as the names were read for Album of the Year. Just watch...
Did you see it? Watch the GIF:
When I watched it, I saw the face of an established artist who thought she was going to win the only award she was nominated for, one that everyone thought she would be winning...only to lose it. The "face" went from ready to win, only to morph into a "Oh I love 'Get Lucky'" expression.
And as I have watched it a few more times, I can't help but see myself. I remember getting asked to do stuff as a young leader and being so humbled as I got to know myself, my gifts and my reach...and how that humility grew into confidence and them morphed into cockiness with the face of "who meeee?" And how I would be disappointed when my name wouldn't be called but my face wouldn't show it. Man...moments like that suck.
And now that I work with students at MCS, I know that they might experience Taylor's moment too. They'll be humbled by an ask to join a staff/sing a song/share a story...and then that might move towards moments of "why them and not me?!" Moments of expecting praise and props only to have a moment of eating humble pie instead. May their resolve be strong.
Now for Taylor, this'll just be fodder for another song situated in France about punks. But for me, it is a reminder. Any and everything is a gift. Nothing is deserved. Nothing is guaranteed. I can't rest on my skin colour, last name, relationships...anything. None of us should. Doing that says hard work and prayer mean nothing, which is so far from the truth. James writes, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humility is huge because pride leads to memes, GIFS and worst-off embarrassments.
...There is a legend about Marcus Aurelius, ruler of Rome. The story is he had a servant who would, whenever he was complimented, whisper these words in his ear:
"You're just a man...just a man."
May I as a husband, dad, leader, friend...may I never forget that. And may I as a believer remember that because I am just a man, I need someone greater to help me be who I am supposed to be.
Cause if not, I might get beaten by some "obots" too.