An Open Conversation

Today was a good day! I’m officially one week in to my Ohio school tour, and I couldn’t be happier. The kids are wonderful, and I’m learning to unlearn preconceived notions I used to have about myself as a performer (I told myself that I wouldn’t feel comfortable performing in front of 500 kids, but it turns out – 500 kids feels just like 30 kids, but louder).

We do a 5-10 minute songwriting demo at the end of each performance. I let the kids choose the song topic, and today, the students wanted to write a song about equality. It was powerful to be surrounded by a large group of middle schoolers who were all onboard with equality. I guess I didn’t know it was exactly what I needed until it happened. I’ve been feeling pretty frustrated lately – from people using 9-11 to support their own political agendas, to that horrible cartoon of Serena Williams, to the handful of confederate flags I’ve driven by in the more rural areas of Ohio, it seems like we’re backtracking as a country.

I like to think of myself as someone who sees both sides of the story. I want to see both sides…but when human rights and equality are in question…I can’t.

I keep thinking that a huge lightbulb is going to go off, and the defiantly defensive are going to realize that they’d better get on the right side of history, but I’m starting to realize it’s probably never going to happen in this lifetime. I pray for more schools like today. We’re going to have to put it in the kids’ hands.

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