Wednesday, July 4, 2012


As we celebrate this 4th of July, I have been thinking a lot about "independence" and what that actually means. The dictionary has several different meanings for the word "independent":
 1 free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority
2 not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence
3 capable of thinking or acting for oneself
4 not connected with another or with each other; separate

Here in the United States, we place a great deal of emphasis on our independence, our ability to chart our own course, to fend for ourselves and to navigate through the world "independently" of anyone else. But in the increasingly interconnected world in which we live, is there still such a thing as true indepence? When the New York Stock Exchange is affected by Greek debt and bailouts in Spain and Italy, when a large percentage of our electronics and consumer goods are made in China, when our national security is put into question because of events in Afghanistan and Iran, can we truly say that we are "independent" in the world?

 For me, two things come to mind. One is that we are quickly recognizing that the world has become woven together in a tapestry of cause and effect, where what I do impacts you and vice versa. This has both positive and negative consequences. On one hand, we are forced to see that we truly need one another. As the saying goes, "no man is an island." So, when we act in our own highest good, we create positive and far-reaching change in the world outside. So, when we conserve energy or plant some new trees in our yard, others benefit from our actions. On the other hand, when we act only in our own interests and neglect those around us, our actions can have unintended but still negative consequences... like illegally downloading music or videos and driving independent artists and record stores out of business.

 Where we do have true independence is in making those difficult choices that confront us each day. We can choose the path of integrity even when it may be a more difficult road and it may take us longer to reach our destination. Regardless of the external circumstances, we have the ability to decide independently of anyone or anything else how we will react. On this day of independence, I choose to express my gratitude to all of you for your support of me and my music. And I encourage all of us to exercise our independence in creating a brighter and more interdependent world.

Speaking of independence, I thought I'd share a recent photo of my son, Sander, who is expressing his independence by learning to walk... a couple of shaky steps at a time...

 Happy 4th of July to you all,

 PS. I am happy to announce that my CD, "Everyday Blessings" has been selected to be part of the PJ Library distribution for December. If you have a Jewish or interfaith family, please sign up for their list. This is a free service and provides a monthly children's book 11 months out of the year and a musical selection for 1 month of the year. You can visit them HERE.

PPS. And if you haven't already "liked" me on Facebook, please do so HERE.

Thank you as always for your support!

No comments: