Out and about last week with my friend and fellow coach extraordinaire, Rebecca (check her out, she’s a marketing genius!) I had the pleasure of meeting the grandson of one of my favorite musicians, jazz virtuoso Dave Brubeck. As the conversation naturally shifted to music I mentioned that he was responsible for writing ‘Take 5,’ which in my opinion is one of only three absolutely perfect songs in existence. Yup, I said perfect and I stand by that statement. If you haven’t listened to it, please stop reading and do (here). I’ll be more offended if you don’t. I’m positive that if you even remotely like jazz, this song is going to rock your world.
To my surprise and not going to lie a little disappointment, I found out that ‘Grandpa Dave’ actually hadn’t composed this spectacular piece of music. The man responsible for so many of my life’s blissful moments had actually been a fellow by the name of Paul Desmond, who in his own right was a fantastic musician and composer who worked with Dave and others until he died in 77’.
Thankfully, my disappointment was short lived because I remembered and was able to share something I knew for a fact my hero of so many years had actually been responsible for that also touched my life in a very meaningful, ‘Take 5’ kind of way. I found this nugget of insight in a book appropriately titled, 'Wisdom' which was put together by photographer and filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman. In it are the thoughts and ideas of more than fifty of the world's most prominent luminaries: politicians, business and religious leaders, musicians, actors, and artists.
While many of the entries in the book are spectacular, Dave’s entry in particular blew my mind à la ‘Take 5’ mirroring the song's strikingly complex simplicity and had the added bonus of profound meaning. He states,
‘You have to be taught to hate.’
Something about that statement created in me an internal dialogue that moved me to the core. I’d never really given much thought to the concept of hate before and decided to put my thoughts down on paper like I usually do when something 'gets to me' at that level. When I did, I realized that in this particular occasion, my ideas could best be summarized in just six points. Those six points inspired the name of this post and will forever live in my mind as another, albeit unintentional, Dave Brubeck masterpiece (‘In Your Own Sweet Way’ anyone?). Hopefully, they will also provide you with some food for thought as you go on with your day:
(1) We are born fearless. It is only through trying to mold ourselves to fit what we feel society deems acceptable/desirable that we develop irrational insecurities.
(2) Insecurity is just a manifestation of fear.
(3) This fear in turn leads to preconceived notions of 'good' and 'bad' and prejudice against anything unfamiliar or 'undesirable' by society's standards.
(4) Prejudice, like anything else, when adequately nourished, grows and in this case turns into hate.
(5) Hate, however, is only powerful because it comes from a lack of love and if you fill that void and it becomes incredibly difficult to hate anything or anyone.
(6) Love yourself first and you'll learn to love everyone for who they are and not what you think they 'should be' to deserve it.
So there you have it my friends, Dave Brubeck's unintentional 'Take 6' as imagined by yours truly and which could otherwise be known as the relationship between love and hate in a musical nutshell. Hope you got something out of it because I sure did. ;)