When I was in third through sixth grade, I was a proud member of the Children’s Choir at my church. I absolutely loved to sing, despite never being the best (My brother, Brandon, is an amazing singer, but that’s another story). Later in life, I found a love of karaoke and married a woman who is a far, far more talented singer. In fact, in early 2012, when we were moving from San Diego to Denver, we threw our going away party at a Korean Restaurant/Karaoke Bar. As you can imagine, it was epic.
While I still sing to myself, to my baby, and to my wife, it had been a long time since I had sung in a group- they don’t make baby friendly karaoke bars, I guess.
In May 2016, when I attended Camp Grounded Digital Detox, one of the workshops that I chose was “Gospel Choir,” which was far more enjoyable than I could’ve imagined. For me, when choices were seemingly unlimited, I chose to sing. I loved every minute of it, too.
We sang classic, soulful music– many songs that I had heard of but never memorized, and one special song I had never heard before that truly sang to my heart and soul. It became the most meaningful song to me. Our choir leader was a long haired, long bearded, shabbily dressed, modern day hippie with glasses, and a banjo. With his soft voice, strumming his tiny banjo, he taught us the following lyrics, from a song called, “Everything Possible,” by Fred Small:
“You can be anybody you want to be.
You can love whomever you will.
You can travel any country that your heart leads,
And know I will love you still.
You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around.
You can choose one special one.
And the only measure of your words and your deeds,
Will be the love you leave behind when you’re done.”
Since then, every day, I sing these lyrics at least once and often many more times, like a silent mantra in my head, and every time, I think of my daughter with hope and love.
These lyrics are more powerful than that to me, though. They embody what I feel everyone should hear from their friends, loved ones, and the most important people in their life. They embody true, altruistic, and unconditional love.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, how young you are, how smart you are, or anything else. The honesty and sincerity of these words echo through the chambers of time.