Everyone has ideas about how to best live life and best use their voice,
And many feel their idea is of the highest choice.
I am continually inspired by what I read, what I watch, who I listen to and meet;
the places I travel; what I taste and eat.
I can sometimes feel my whole perspective, if not my entire life purpose, shift inside of a single conversation.
It happened when I was with Al Gore, sailing to Antarctica
on the way to Palmer Station.
The fragility of the environment and the passion of the captain had profound affects that brought me to my knees.
So much so when I returned home I started planting more trees.
But shift also happens in humble surroundings. Just as it did on the couch watching The Big Lebowski.
The style and grace of the lead indeed planted a seed,
though instead trees my interest in cultivation became that of weed.
In both cases I became so engrossed in what my senses were seeing.
I felt some kind of cosmic baton passed on to my being.
Yes, I shall sing for those things that do not have a voice!
The Trees! The Ice! The Planet! …Of Course!
And Yet, I shall wear a bathrobe, and cut my hair never;
Forever remaining The Dude whose carpet ties the room together.
And so my friends, by these and many other contradictions I may reveal,
I invite you to a halt; stop reading; heel.
Avoid my throw-up, wherever it may show up: in the press, on the radio, or onstage between songs.
I may just be a confused young human whose ideas are wrong.
Finally! says one possible commentator, the same who shouts Shut Up and Sing!
Though, I feel that person has yet to understand a very important thing.
Conflict inspires art. Therefore what’s bad of the mouth, may be good for the heart.
Look closely at any conflict and you will find it.
We artists are damn near impossible to quiet.
When humans debate, or argue, it’s usually about change,
which is happening anyway all over the world stage.
And what I feel is the most disconcerting about change isn’t whether it’s a good or bad decision,
it’s that we waste our breath trying to persuade another to take our position.
I’m right. My choice is higher.
No I’m right. That man is a liar.
As if the sand wasn’t pouring out of the glass in haste,
precious moments are lost in today’s debates.
We argue about policy, money, and whether or not science is true,
and we even do so in the privacy our minds too.
We seem to forget about impermanence. We forget to thrive.
And thus turn grey before we realize we were ever alive.
For the past decade I’ve traveled abroad repeatedly,
and with more than 125 stamps and visas in my passport I’ve proof I wonder frequently.
If there are things I’ve noticed that sets the US apart from the rest,
it’s that we’re chubbier, paranoid and consider our nation the best.
Largely, and I use that word figuratively, (that one too.)
We Americans are hoarders. Are you?
We love stuff. Especially double stuff. And it shows.
If you can’t see that, you may not be able to see your toes.
Man’s love of snack foods and soda weighs heavy on his health.
Just as what weighs on our environment is our love of industry and wealth.
From this world view easily seen in a glance,
I composed a new song to help “The Real Bears” dance.
And yet, my opinion is just what it is: an opinion.
Anyone can write a rebuttal to any of the above comments and completely negate my sentiment.
Just as a candidate will point a finger, dismissing the good the others’ done all along;
So too will a soda company tell us that a public heath PSA “is bunk and its statistics wrong.”
One cola company even said, “There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity.”
I don’t need science. I’ve got family history.
I guess the best I can request in this persuasive verse
Is decide for yourself what you think best works.
Collect your own data, or not.
Be inspired by whatever may touch your heart, and share what got.
But be non-attached to the outcome. You can be both Al Gore AND The Dude, see,
You’ll either be applauded, ignored or cut you down and treated rudely.
But all results are good. Know this and you’ll be fine.
Because feeling anything inside is the simplest definition of being alive.
For more on the Dude, Real Bears, or Al Gore,