Be above the mix…

This past week, I had one of those moments where the most random thing just sparked an idea that I couldn’t shake.  “You need to be above the mix…”  I heard this in two different episodes of one of our favorite new shows, Empire.  Both times she was listening to a new track, and this was her suggestion, “be above the mix,” “Don’t hide behind the music.”

I just keep thinking of this in real life.  So many times in life we hide behind, what we want others to see and hear.  We are scared to stand out and be different.  To some comparing life to music production and songs, won’t make any sense, to others it’s going to click like it did for me.  When you listen to a number of today’s top songs, you will hear a lot of the same beats, you will hear the beats better than the lyrics, you hear words not lines.  Today songs come out, many sound the same, sale incredibly great, but the meaning is not there.  Songs are made to give people what they want to hear, they give that great beat to move to.

Many of us live our lives this exact same way.  We hide behind what we know others want to see or hear, we spend so much time doing what others want, we forget ourselves.  It’s the people who step up,  go above the mix, those that let their voice be heard, that speak clearly and with meaning and purpose, that are remembered.  These are the people who make a difference.

Are you willing to be above the mix and not hide behind the idea of who you are, but truly be you?  Are you willing to be the parent that says, my kid isn’t going to do that or I’m a parent not a friend?  Are you willing to be that husband that actually listens to his wife, that does the laundry and the dishes to give your wife a break?  Are you willing to be that friend, that slaps your best friend back to reality when they are just being plain stupid?  Are you willing to be that student, that stops the bully, that sets the example for the rest of the team, for the rest of the class?

Take just one day, and put yourself above the mix, put yourself above where others think you should be, and then prove why you should be there.  If you’re stuck in a hole, is up to you to grab the rope.  If your voice is far below the drum machine and the bass, you have to choose to move that fader up.  Others can put the equipment there, others can help only as much as you let them.  It is up to you to make the call to get it moving.

Have we failed them?

When it comes to our kids, I know that any of us would do anything for them.  We try to protect them in every way that we can, we try to give them a better life than we had.  In doing so, we have raised a generation of wimpy vultures.  Bullies today are not the same as bullies back in the day.  Back when I was in school if having to deal with a bully, it stopped at the end of the school day, and it was one maybe two people.  Now, you have groups of “mean kids”, that will pick on kids at school and then it becomes cyber bully time.  It no longer stops, even the kids that aren’t bullies at school become bullies behind a keyboard.  We all know that kids can be mean, and we also know that kids discover these behaviors from somewhere.

That is why no matter how much you want to blame the schools, the administration, coaches, etc., it starts at home.  Parents we need to be involved with our kids.  We need to be in our kids lives, not just being around, not just running them to their events, but truly involved.  We need to know who their friends are, we need to know what they are doing when they are out.  We also need to know who and what they are online.  With the illusion that our kids need to be themselves, and that they need to have their privacy, so that they are free to be themselves, we lose our kids to the world.  When as parents, we lose touch with our kids, or we excuse ourselves from their life, we have no right to blame others for what our kids do or don’t do.  Now don’t think that I’m saying to go read your kids diary or journal, but we do need to know what is going on in their lives.  Spend time talking to them, they aren’t going to be excited about this, but communication is key.

At the end of the day, our kids take after us. If we don’t parent our children, how can we ask others to do so.  We have to set a proper example for our children in all that we do.  If you find yourself always posting negative comments online, especially when it has nothing to actually do with you, or you never have anything very positive to say about anything, you might be encouraging your child to be a bully, both online and in real life.  If you are talking about things with your kids, and setting a proper example, maybe we can stop some of this senseless violence, bullying, and suicide among young people in our world.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…

Yeah, I realize I’m a couple of days late on sending out Christmas cards, or maybe I’m really early with my 2015 ones…

This year I hope that you had a great time with friends and family.  I know that for some, this Christmas and the entire holiday season was bittersweet.  Maybe you lost a loved one this year, maybe it’s been a few years without them and this time of year brings back memories, that are hard to deal with.  But now is the time to take comfort in the fact that they are in a better place, they are free from the pain and sicknesses that they were dealing with here.  It sucks for us, and I mean really sucks anytime we lose a loved one.

This is why as much as you can spend real-time with your loved ones.  An I ❤ U, text isn’t the same as taking 5 minutes out of your day to pick up the phone and call somebody to see how their day was and tell them that you are thinking about them.  Take some time also this Holiday season to think about how blessed you are and what you can do for someone else.  Little things that we can change in us, can change things for someone else.  Add an extra $5 or $10 to the tip at the restaurant, pay for the person behind you in the drive thru, buy a gift card for the person behind you in line at the store and just tell the cashier to use it.  It can take 30 seconds to change someones day, don’t do it to make you feel better, think about how you would feel rolling up to the Starbucks window and your order had already been taken care of.  Now pass that feeling along…

Make this a pay it forward Holiday, and see how it feels to give and not receive.  Take time out to spend with your kids, spouse, family, and friends.  Put away the electronics, and spend real-time together.  Your email will be there later, that Facebook post will be readable later, that tweet will be there later, that Pinterest pin will be on 5,000 other boards too.