Can we just put our differences aside for a moment? We are a nation of many cultures. We may be white, black, brown, yellow and every color in between, we may speak one language or four or even more. That’s the beauty of life, getting to know the flavor, culture and make up of each other. To learn from each other, to sit and listen to each other’s stories, to hear different perspectives, to agree to disagree, but still come to a common understanding. It is, in a sense, acceptance.
Acceptance in the fact that it is okay to have a contrasting opinion, that is is more than your right to express yourself in whatever fashion seems to fit. We have a growth mindset, a “live in the moment” attitude, or do we? Sadly, we don’t.
This weekend’s super bowl performance was a perfect example of that. We have two legends on stage, albeit, nevermind the age factor, nevermind the fact that they were women (and yes, girl power, what a performance) We forgot to look at the fact that it was a show. Jenni from the block has come a long, long way. Recently snubbed at the Oscars she put together a performance that not only showcased what she could do, but she put a spotlight on it. Yes, folks, it was a costume, multi-layered, mesh inserts, crystals, and lots of chutzpah. It was also a statement. If you looked beyond the rear shaking, most of you would see that. Both ladies were gals that I grew up also shaking my rear to. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to dance to Shakira’s “Wherever, Whenever”, or “Hips Don’t Lie“; and when JLo’s infamous “Let’s Get Loud” hit the scene, I danced for hours to her in my living room. Want to know something? I also danced to Selena and swooned over Jon Secada. I also shook my hips with U2 and “Mysterious Ways” and was a little monster along with Lady Gaga. Truth be told, if you dropped your prudish attitude, you probably danced too. Both JLo and Shakira brought an essence of their culture to the stage, traditional dances, both Latino and Lebanese, Jamaican, and whatever else, they embraced their heritage. Now, they might not have in a way that was vanilla, but those of us who prefer a little flavor certainly didn’t mind it and it brought back the old days when perhaps we were more accepting of differences.
While I won’t get into the political aspects of all of this, can we please just enjoy some culture for a change? Why the hate, is it really making you look more American, no, our country is a blend of all of this. From Italian to Puertorician, to Greek to Vietnamese, to Indian to Afro-American we used to embrace that. Now, we distrust our neighbors because they don’t look like us. Your neighbor is more than likely thinking what did they do wrong to upset you.
Music, dance, the arts are meant to express ourselves and to enjoy the world. It is the same as changing leaves on a tree or changing seasons, it shows the beauty of each passage.
Why can’t we see that in each other?