November 20- A Spoonful of Sugar
“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…in the most delightful way.” Mary Poppins
“You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” has a special place in the heart of this southern girl. Raised down south in North Carolina, I adapted this phrase as a catch-all for simply being nice to people. Southern children are raised with manners or this southern child was. Southern girls of my generation were encouraged to be quiet, cool and reserved, ever cautious of anything that would cause distress or disagreement. And lord help us if our general demeanor caused a hissy or conneption fit. A decent southern girl would not want to be the cause of either.
Years later, I find myself in a business that sometimes lacks all modicum of decency, humility, and manners . There are still people in music who yell, curse, and scream over the phone and think it’s just dandy and that their use of toxic phrases and tones is not only acceptable but elevates them into music professionals. And it’s not just the music business that employes and produces these poison pros. We tend to respect authority, even if “authority” means raised voices and red faces, unnecessary threats and insane demands.
There are those of us who quietly do what we do to great effect without the dramatic flourishes. We are far and few between, but we are here. As are the musicians who organize bands, record music, rehearse and travel with spirit as a guide instead of money and fame as their impetus.
Anyone in the music realm fights a battle each day to remain positive and upbeat in an often stifling and seductive environment. The easiest thing to do is take out our frustrations on the people who love and support us, whether they’re significant others or tour personnel, the maid who forgot to brings us towels or the waitress at The Waffle House who brought us decaf instead of regular coffee.
Be careful of toxic words, phrases and actions in your music rounds. Deliver criticism with a spoonful of sugar. Accentuate the positive aspects of anything. sometimes you must dig deep to do this, but do it. Find something hopeful, encouraging or enlightening about anything you don’t feel positive about. FInd a way to be a beacon instead of a bummer. Lighten the mood and bring a sense of peace to situations today. It’s much easier to ignore a situation or make light of it than demonize it. Carry positive energy with you today and see how much easier the music world is to navigate.