Being the best next thing is not always easy. I mean, yeah, you got talent; yeah, you got skills; yeah, you are creative; yeah, you make it 'look' easy.
But, let me be straight with you: believe me, it isn't. And the "why so" boils down to an aphorismic Nietschzean philosophy:
You are good only because PEOPLE say you're good.
"Well, that SHOULD be easy," you might think, "getting people to say you are good, especially if you actually are..." But if you believe that, you are still a novice at understanding human psychology. First of all, it shows that you are completely unaware of all the processes that occur beneath the surface before people actually talk about something: They have to observe it, process it, and be impressed by it before they can ever express it.
This, I have seen, can get cut short at any point in the train of events which lead to a personal endorsement. For instance, let us say one is trying to get the approval of a 'normal guy'. Let's say its a song you want him to listen to on the internet. He just started listening to (observing) the song, when suddenly there is power outage, network failure, or even more effective, he starts thinking of a girl he likes. He is NEVER EVER gonna finish observing your masterpiece. Or whatever it is.
But say he does finish watching, reading, listening, tasting (or even smelling) your masterpiece and he is processing it, trying to decide whether he is impressed or not when suddenly he gets hungry, or a pop-up inviting him to 'watch free porn' appears, or his boss summons him to explain his use of company hardware for personal entertainment, or even more effective, he starts thinking of a girl he likes... He is NEVER EVER gonna finish processing your work in his brain. Or whatever he has.
But say he does process it and is reasonably impressed, and wants to express his approval. And just when he is about to tell his friends, he gets hungry, or his boss summons him to explain his use of company property for personal pleasure, or even more effective, he starts thinking of a girl he likes... I bet you can see where this is going.
Easier said than done, people say. And I guess they are right, because the only thing harder than 'saying' something is 'doing' something. Talk is cheap, you'd say, but you'd be surprised at the myriad possibilities that open up when the right words are said.
Don't believe me? What do you think brought the great (or so I have heard) Ben Carson into the public consciousness? You think it was his 'gifted hands'? Trust me, it wasn't. Gifted tongue is much closer to it! His ability to cut a skull open and staple it shut probably would have passed unnoticed had he not the presence of mind to present it in written/spoken word as a present to any audience present.
Also, the incumbent president of the United States was an absolute rookie in the world of politics and, come to think of it, even law (at least, compared to one of my favorite human beings of all time, Hilary Rodham Clinton) before his election, but like we all got to see, he could talk circles around almost anyone and anything that he was up against. And we believed his word. So we, (and I speak as a member of the pseudo-american community, which encompasses everybody that is not an official citizen of "God's own country", and due to some neglect in their constitutional due process, are therefore ineligible to vote), we all (kinda) rooted for him to win.
Wait a minute! "God's own country"? This is a country with terribly heavy taxation on the poor, without universal health care, and one that publicly accepts homosexuality yet publicly reviles christianity! Yet we look up to them, affect their mannerisms and follow both their presidential elections and impeachments with the longing eyes of a beggars' child in a candy store! What is the reason we are in love with America?
Yep. Word is powerful, but whose word do people believe? I mean, for Christians like myself, any word from the devil, realistic as it may seem, is automatically a lie. And any word from God, implausible as it may sound at the time, is law.
And for a while, it started to seem that the only person who people collectively listened to and obeyed more than the Almighty Himself, (who they pretty much ignore these days anyway), was the great Oprah Winfrey (God bless her soon-to-be-retired soul)!
Which brings it all back to me. I have started to think that one of the most hare-brained ideas I have ever had was taking my music seriously. (I mean, come on! Who am I fooling? Oprah doesn't even like rap. Who is gonna tell the whole world on my behalf to "goooo aaannnddd bbbuuuyyy tthhiiiss aaalllbbuummm" and make them hurry as fast as their zombie legs can carry them to do so? Will you, my dear reader? Hit me up if you will and can. Lol.)
That brings me to the second most hare-brained idea I have come up with: starting a blog!
I mean, a virtually unknown musician/doctor starts writing a virtually unknown and, in the words of an ex-girlfriend, 'penniless blog' in order to publicise his virtually unknown music? How dumb was that? Did I even stop to think of what it would take to garner a following of people who will hang on my every (written) word, in order to coerce them into hanging on my every ('rhythmed') word? Wait, don't answer, those questions were rhetorical!
(Besides, I like to think of myself as a pretty brilliant chap. Anything less, and it might be impossible for me to sleep at night!)
And sometimes, it feels like I should just let go of the dream. Because, as I have come to learn, it is not so much about how good you are, it is about who you have on your side. Your team. And honestly, it feels like I've been pretty much a 'one man army'.
And just when I am about to tire and give up, I go to study the one thing I know it is, that will give me the advice that is both timeless and rivetting... (Okay, well, yes, the Bible too. But that is not what I was talking about)... Now you guessed it right, a disney movie!
And if you've never had a dream, a completely unreasonable hope, a reason to look forward to the future, the closest thing you can get to it is just that. Walt Disney Movies. I dunno 'bout y'all, but they sure awaken that magic that we lose in the experience and expertise which is adult life.
And if you think that is unrealistic and childish, it worked for me! Because, when I realised that music is my love, medicine is my job and 'blogging' is, really, more or less, a hobby, I lost the will to express my thoughts on the web. Especially as the only member of my audience is my cousin, Osama Lee, (yeah! you do deserve a shout-out), who is only a phone-call away (it IS a terribly expensive phone-call, but nonetheless, only a phone-call away), and it all seemed like a waste of precious time and energy.
But the disney movie I watched made me realize that MY strenght is not necessarily in numbers. It gave me the understanding that I am not actually doing what I do just for myself. I am doing it for people who honestly believe in, and love, what I do; people who are touched, no matter how infinitessimally (oh, I love that word!) by my smattering of words on a pc screen; people who I cannot let down.
So what if those 'people' are just my (singular) cousin?
...And, when he gets married, perhaps his wife and, hopefully, 9 children? (I do have to imagine an amount of offspring that will be in keeping with his libido, his common sense and my desire for a viewership of up to 10 readers! Lol.)
The show, nevertheless, must go on!
So, on that note, it is safe for me to say just one thing:
Its your boy,
Fly Fellow Y'all!