Someone once told me music is the great equalizer, the great connector that can dissolve all differences and bring people together even for a moment if the listener is in that space of pure appreciation and nothing else. There must be some truth to that for I’ve seen great musicians connect people in a way that few things can. My fifteen year old daughter, like millions of other girls in the world, is a huge fan of Justin Bieber. And I was the dismissive mother, wondering quietly and not so quietly what the heck all the fuss was about, haughtily dismissing him as some ‘lucky’ teenager who got a lucky break. I could not have been more wrong in my perception. And I discovered that when I decided it might be worthwhile exploring ‘what the fuss was all about’ if only to get a little into my teen’s world.
So I sat down one evening with her and watched ‘Never say never’, the story of his rise to stardom.
To say I was impressed by his sheer talent and unwavering perseverance is an understatement. Whilst my daughter was sighing at his ‘cuteness’, ‘hotness’ and every other ‘ness’ she could come up with, I was audible in my admiration of the journey to his phenomenal success.
Two life lessons were re-iterated to me through that movie – perseverance, not luck usually underpins phenomenal success and pre-judgement without knowledge usually ends up making the judger look pretty stupid. I didn’t mind being stupid in this case because I gained another thread of connection with my daughter. I’ve shamelessly used Justin’s journey to motivate her to stay on track with her own goals and dreams if I notice she’s waning or getting lazy. Justin’s music connects teens from all over the world. The reactions of sighs, screams, tears of joy and overwhelm is the same whether the teen is a young Muslim girl wearing a hijab, a Southern Cali girl in her beach thongs and shorts or my teen daughter in her jeans and Ugg boots. It is amazing to me how these young girls know every word to every song and sing along with euphoria written on every inch of their faces. Bieber fever is definitely on par with Beatle mania. And like the Beatles did in their day, Justin, through his music helps people forget their differences as they unite through music and lyrics lost in the moment of someone’s God-given talent in a concert arena for a few hours.
Yes – music is indeed one of the most powerful connectors in life.


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