Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lunch Tables, Dogooders, and Metaphorical Music

Day before yesterday, Stacey Monk, founder of Epic Change, a nonprofit that "helps hopeful people in need share their stories," wrote about dogooder communities. While she enjoys the company and appreciates the support, she thinks it's time to branch out...

There’s these kids sitting at the other lunch tables in our global cafeteria. They’re jocks, geeks, artists, musicians and cheerleaders…and we need their help. Doing good isn’t our job, it’s everyone’s. And as long as changing the world is relegated to a sector, it will never happen.

I agree. And, to Stacey's metaphorical problem, I offer a partial (but metaphorical) solution.

Bridge songs.

The songs you use to convince rookies and skeptics that the musicians you love are worthy. Maybe not the best songs. Probably not even your favorites. But the ones that can make disproportionately good first impressions. The ones that are least intimidating. The ones that get people humming along immediately. The ones that broaden the fanbase.

So, maybe, before Stacey takes her tray over to the punk rockers' table, she should have a quick listen through the tape in her boombox and make sure it's rewinded strategically.

Just exactly which songs bridge best when played for punk rockers, I don't know. As I said, this is a partial solution (and solution probably isn't the right word). But maybe ask the punk rocker that sits behind you in Algebra II. Or, maybe better, ask the dogooder that used to eat lunch with the punk rockers...

Well, Stacey, that's what I got for you right now, at 4pm on a rainy Tuesday. You recognize something important, and you're calling for a good thing. I'll do my best to do my part.

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