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When the Grownup World is too much for me

by Michel Schwartz 2 years ago in humanity
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Can't get enough of this video

As a child, I often dreamt of being rescued by Ponch of Chips, treated by Hawkeye of MASH, befriended by Bo of Dukes of Hazards. These gentle, sometimes compassionate characters were calming to my subconscious.

When Rudy Huxtable, Cindy Brady and Arnold Jackson grew into what the writers thought were no longer cute as a button bodies, along came Olivia, Oliver and Sam, respectively.

There’s something to be said about our soft spot for intergenerational connection. Memes show cute things children do. We cheer on the good, kind guys in movies and on TV. In times of crisis, we are devastated by the bad behavior of celebrities who portray such pureness on the screen.

I never heard of Andy Grammer or the song “Don’t Give Up on Me” before I saw the attached video on a friend’s Facebook feed. Since the first time I hit play, though, I found a calm in the experience. When I’m having a bad day or fed up with real life, I play this video and a warm comfort eases my soul.

Andy Grammar singing Don’t Give Up on Me with a group of talented and animated children has all the elements of love: the optimism and engagement of children, the true presence in the experience for Andy Grammer, the words that reflect a concept of tenacity, and the melody that stays in your head for hours after you hear it.

Every time “Don’t Give Up on Me” comes on the radio or television, whether on the Voice or American Idol, or as background for an experience the characters are going through, I sing. My voice is certainly not the Voice-worthy, but this song always hypes me up.

The kids seem to be enjoying every minute of the experience. I try to look for the child who is hiding in the distance, mouthing the words and holding back tears like my shy self used to when performing “Oh Chanukah” to an auditorium of intimidating, distracted parents. Can’t find a one. The videographer is panning over all the kids equally, yet, still, no sign of a kid who looks like they should be featured on an after-school special. Granted, there are some hams: like the long-haired girl in the front who puts up her dukes and the little boy with his tee shirt swimming down to his midthigh who gets up and opens his arms to the audience. Try as I might, I cannot find any introversion seeping out in sight. And not a tone-deaf note among them. They sing in perfect harmony.

In the video, Andy Grammer relishes in every single note, feeling each syllable and swaying to the mood. At the end, he even tearfully exclaims that it is his favorite day.

Here are some play-pressing opportunities when it comes to this video:

1) Feeling unappreciated at work.

2) Being stood up.

3) Waiting for test results from a doctor.

4) Being told that you aren’t good enough, strong enough, lovable enough, smart enough, or pretty enough.

5) Facing a judgmental friend, relative, co-worker, employer, human being, pet or Higher Power – real or perceived.

6) Can’t sleep because you are ruminating over the stupid things you said or did during the day.

7) Sucked into the bipolar vortex of social media

8) Isolated from human contact and can’t get a hold of anyone.

9) Paralyzed with depression, anxiety, hopelessness, fear, malaise, or overwhelm.

Angst is real. In a world when we are bombarded with technological terrorism, sound bytes, headlines, and clickbait, we all need a go to, a box of in case of emergency break glass tools, a Linus blanket. For me, I find comfort in the purity of a gentle man, singing a simple song with what Whitney Houston used to refer as “the future.”

When we are looking out a window from our tower of adulthood, it’s good to see a scene of genuine joy.


About the author

Michel Schwartz

My current day job is working in a service department of a large non-profit. My education is in journalism. My passion is bringing a voice to the community. Every experience I've had brought me to here: a contributing microcosm of society.

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