Dear Ones –
Two life lessons about Karaoke for you this morning.
On my birthday last year, some friends and I went out for Karaoke, because I love Karaoke. (The photo below is me singing FAITHFULLY by Journey. Because I truly love that song.) Anyhow, my friend Jimi got up to sing WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN, and although he wasn't overly familiar with that particular song, and he didn't really manage to hit all the notes, he sang it with all his heart. As he sang, he also danced with genuine passion and joy. It was awesome. After he was done, I congratulated Jimi on his amazing performance and he said, "The only want to NOT look like a fool when you do Karaoke is to show up for it 100%."
I just heard a story last night about this hipster dude, who was doing a cross-country road trip across America, and who liked to entertain himself on the road by going into dumb Karoake bars all across the country and singing mocking renditions of songs he really hated, just to make himself laugh. Then one night, somewhere in Iowa, an old farmer came up to the hipster after he had fake-sung some Elton John song, and said, "Don't." The hipster was confused, but the farmer clarified: "Whatever it is you're doing up there when you sing, don't. Don't do that anymore. The people who come to this bar work really hard, and they come seeking a real emotional release. They choose songs to sing because they genuinely love those songs — because those songs make them happy, or sad, or because the songs remind them of some part of their life that had meaning. What you're doing, on the other hand, is just mockery. Don't." And the hipster dude was humbled and schooled, and maybe after that he became a tiny bit less of a total jackass.
In life, as in Karaoke, the only way NOT to make a fool out of yourself is to show up 100%.
And the only way to access your humanity — or anyone else's — is to be an earnest person.
Show up, and be earnest.
That's the formula, right there.
Then shut your eyes and just sing your heart out.