“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” ~Samuel Johnson
According to CBC News (http://bit.ly/14D0kUn), researchers “found a direct link between a person’s exposure to media accounts of extraordinary virtue and their yearning to change the world.” This was found to be true in four separate studies in which lead author, Karl Aquino, cites, “Our study indicates that if more attention was devoted to recounting stories of uncommon acts of human virtue, the media could have a quantifiable positive effect on the moral behavior of a significant group of people.” This reminds me how I often wish the daily news would report more on positive, uplifting events and stories and why I’m always striving to find the silver lining in whatever I can.
When I wrote the lyrics to the song “Give the World,” I was thinking of who or what means the world to me to the point that I would be inspired to “give the world” to them –my family, my friends, my community, my country, the under-served, world peace (yes, perhaps saccharine, but true). I also defined “world” as all my love, because that can be expressed in so many ways and what else is there of greater value? Have you ever thought of who or what inspires you to “give the world”?
I’ve been thinking a lot about giving and the many forms it can take. The ideal of giving selflessly is something I strive to do. Sometimes I wonder, however, if it’s possible to achieve. When you make significant sacrifices for someone or give to someone who can’t give back to you in any way, can you completely erase any trace of underlying expectation? If we give with expectation there is bound to be disappointment and resentment that can wreak havoc on the strongest of relationships–baggage no one needs. Can you even count how much you have given to your children or some other family member? Or how much your parents did for you? It’s impossible to measure. There are simply some debts that can never be repaid to the person.
So why not, as the coined phrase states, “pay it forward.“ Because no matter who you are, somewhere, somehow, someone did something for you, that you can never repay. An act of random kindness or a very specific effort to help someone in need is something that can go far beyond the actual deed. Not only can something like this make you feel good, you can be rest assured that when someone catches you doing for others in such a way, you are, in turn, inspiring them to do the same. It’s beautifully contagious! What a world we could create by giving as much, if not more, than what we take.
In terms of what inspires me to “give the world,” an easy one for me is for my kids. I remember a friend telling me how his love for his baby was so different than any other love he’d ever felt—that he’d literally throw himself in front of a train for his child. He gravely repeated, “literally, in front of a train.” So “Give the World” started lyrically as a love letter to my kids, much like my song “Count on Me” from Untucked, but morphed into broader concept of giving.
When the higher ups of @MakeMusicLA and folks in my immediate Santa Monica community asked me to make a Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the #MMLA event in Santa Monica, I didn’t hesitate to jump on board. My husband, Ken, generously offered to produce and direct it. We both agreed that it was a priority to us because giving back to our community is our mantra. This “Give the World” video came out of the footage shot on the gorgeous bluffs of Santa Monica for the PSA. It’s just a little footage of my band and me having fun in our ‘hood and feeling lucky to be able to give back in some small way.
“Give The World” single: http://bit.ly/14IaMRo
“Sunshine State Of Mind” album:http://bit.ly/12W4Gps