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ACTIVISM with Fundamental Values

Written by Melanie Silos (Songwriter/Editor, Rock for Learning)

Given the conditions in the world, and the choices of action we have in our daily experiences, it is essential to acknowledge and learn about what is happening around us in our home, community, and to humanity in the world, and consider the effects of our own actions. Let it be within our self-defined fundamental values to choose to take action for relief where most needed, support viable solutions, and keep on enjoying life and music; this is the essence of activism.

Pete Yorn (photo by permission of NLM 2006.)The first step towards action is to acknowledge the situation. Musician/humanitarian, Pete Yorn, acknowledges current conditions with his song "American Blues Vol. I" confronting the reality of troubles in America from the declining economy and quality of education to increasing unemployment, pessimism, and depression.

With regard to the state of the nation and world conditions, it is important to realize effects of action, that each of our individual choices and actions have affect to the greater existence of all to the extent that our actions collectively lead to recognizable impacting effects. We are interconnected and systematically interdependent, one part moves and it affects the movement of the whole, and like a steering wheel to a vehicle the slightest bit of turning changes the direction of the entire vehicle and everything in it. Johnny Marr (photo by permission of First Third.) In the same way, we can make conscious consideration of our own actions and the effects that may result in the short term and long term. Consider what is our individual role in the greater spectrum of what is occurring in the world. Awareness of our influence and acknowledgment of conditions are key.

Given this awareness, who are we to be the ones to do anything about it? One might think it would take a superhero to make a difference. The Smith's guitarist/Healers frontman, Johnny Marr reminds Rock for Learning with a song from Sly & the Family Stone "Everybody is a star;" and from his own lyrics declares, "You are the magic." It's a reminder that no matter who we are or whatever we are, we each are empowered to do and fulfill our human will. It is with this empowerment that we can take action and make the commitment to important matters. (See Commitment feature article.) And even if our own will is to give it up to faith and beliefs in a higher power as God, whatever our faith or belief, it is still upon our human will to make that prayer or meditate on matters.

The question arises, what can we do to make a difference? Ryan Adams & the Cardinals - Cardinology (photo by permission of NLM.)As Pete Yorn's "American Blues" recognizes we're broke, then we can learn and act upon the title words of Ryan Adams & the Cardinals' song from Cardinology: "FIX IT." And where shall we begin? Ian Brown (photo by permission)At the House of Blues where all faiths co-exist under one roof with the motto "All is one," family-man/Stone Roses frontman, Ian Brown urges Rock for Learning readers, "Keep on getting educated and learn love for humanity."

The ability to make a difference begins with getting educated, learning, and having the skills, knowledge, and abilities to enact solutions; learning about conditions and important matters in the community and world will provide the factors from which we may discern our focus, aims, direction and course of action. Fundamental values such as love for humanity, preservation of the environment, and willingness to learn and fix it when broke, are the driving force of care that will motivate action for support and providing solutions.

We must ask ourselves: What are our values, and what is important to us? Nothing matters until you define what is important to you and what you value. As you create value, you will overcome non-committal attitudes, and rather generate dedication and commitment within yourself, and thus, create the meaningfulness of action. If the question appears "Does everything need to be meaningful?" The answer just may be it "Already is." (See Robert Plant on Commitment to Important Matters.)

Incubus (photo permission from WBR) Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd shares encouragement with Rock for Learning on why environmental activism is important: "...Having a place to live and to be able to hand down something better than what we had. Environmentally, most politicians don't make decisions based on what will be in 20-30 years from now." Brandon encourages that we can each make a difference through "Responsibility, self-sufficience, cleaning up after one's self, and to stay aware, just to name a few." And I add that even if we like our own pile of mess, it's important to be self-aware and know when to take responsibility to clean it up.

radiohead (photo by K. Westerberg permission of NLM.)radiohead endorsement to Rock for Learning.Berlin's Terri Nunn with Swan Soul's Melanie SilosFor the environment Radiohead encourages commuting and alternative transportation, and Berlin's Terri Nunn reminds us of the great alternative: "Riding on the Metro." And as for helping humanity there are many causes and organizations that Rock for Learning featured artists support, and we encourage your support as well. (See Rock for Learning Activism)

Even as we acknowledge the challenges we each face to confront in life, and activate our empowerment to do something about it, we always have great music to enjoy and appreciate. As a singer/songwriter, my favorite Led Zeppelin song is "Thank You" especially Robert Plant's solo live versions. Songwriter Melanie Silos I affirm, "Appreciation is key to fulfillment. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what we are doing that we need to be reminded why we began. An awareness of appreciation and enjoyment enhances fulfillment of an experience. As we learn and grow from challenging experiences, we have the beautiful opportunity to practice all we have learned in each new experience. And with each moment we can share the appreciation of love. This great music from Rock for Learning featured artists is something I greatly love and appreciate."

Pete Yorn (photo by permission of NLM 2006.)Pete Yorn, who acknowledges and supports various causes for At-Risk/Disadvantaged Youths, Children, Family/Parent Support, Hunger, Mental Challenges, and Poverty, reminds Rock for Learning of a Bobby McFarrin song to always keep in mind, "Don't Worry Be Happy..." and adds, "when you have trouble, if you worry you make it double."

So let's acknowledge that our choice of actions make a difference,
recognize conditions,
activate our empowerment with fundamental values, and
provide support, solutions and relief for important matters, "American Blues", the environment, and humanity;
and let's not worry but rather share a sense of relief, and enjoy and appreciate this great music together!

xo Melanie
Rock for Learning!
Melanie Silos

Learn more about Rock for Learning [HERE]

© 2008 New Moon Publishing & Consulting
All Rights reserved. All photos used by permission. [See details.]
Radiohead photo/art by K. Westerberg.

* Thank you to former Pink Mochi drummer, Tim Brown (may you rest in peace), for redirecting me and encouraging me to stay for the Beck concert at Hollywood Bowl; it was an essential route for the creation of this feature article. Lots of love and cheers!


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Rock for Learning Featured Artists:

On the source of inspiration and empowerment: 'MY FATHER (Joe Paquin).  He taught me music.  If it weren't for my Dad and what he did with my Mom, I wouldn't be here.' - Luke Paquin, guitarist Hot Hot Heat + 'MOST IMPORTANT IS TO STAY ENTHUSIASTIC...' Steve Bays, vocalist Hot Hot Heat  [photo use by permission of WBR.] RYAN ADAMS - I'M STILL LEARNING...  Ryan Adams: A Light of Brilliance... A blue star, ONE in a constellation of many, without whom the whole would not be what it is... Click in for the full feature article regarding Ryan's new music and more. (Photograph by Bob Gruen. Posted with permission of Lost Highway Records.) RYAN supports [MORE] EVERYTHING IS MEANINGFUL. - Robert Plant... KEANE - Being Keen With Keane.  Question is:  Does the music we make choose us or do we choose the music. Vocalist Tom Chaplin knows, 'IT SOUNDS CRYPTIC.'  Click in and discover the orgins of life and creation! Keane are helping child victims of war go to school with (Photograph posted with permission of Interscope Records. OASIS:  On life & learning:  NEVER STOP; says Noel Gallagher, lead guitarist, singer/songwriter, and mastermind of Oasis... A drink of life in the summer heat at an OASIS and an undeniable feeling of Heathen Chemistry.  (Photograph courtesy Sony Music Ent.) [MORE] On what's important for family development: 'KEEP ON GETTING EDUCATED AND LEARN LOVE FOR HUMANITY' - Ian Brown  [photo use by permission.] I'M WILLING TO LEARN! - The Zutons.  [photo use by permission of Sony Music Ent.] SEAL:  A Symbol of Love & A Step in the Right Direction.  LOVE, WHAT ELSE IS THERE... says SEAL. (Photograph posted with permission of Warner Bros Records.) Seal supports [MORE] WE'VE GOT TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON OUR IDEALS OR BETRAY SOMETHING AT THE HEART OF WHO WE ARE... - Bono (U2) BONO, at Harvard University addresses the class on African relief, American ideals, and rebelling against indifference. (Photo and link courtesy of Berklee College of Music and Harvard Magazine.)Bono supports  [MORE]
MUSIC IS EVERYTHING. - Chris Martin (Coldplay singer/keyboardist/guitarist). COLDPLAY: The Light of Music, Passion, and Development! (Photo courtesy of Capitol Records & Coldplay's Mgmt) Coldplay supports  [MORE] YOU GET WHAT YOU FOCUS ON. - Francis Dunnery. Francis Dunnery supports the CKD Children's Hospital Fund-UK [MORE] YOU ARE THE MAGIC. - Johnny Marr.  Johnny Marr & The Healers - Bangin' On with Love.[MORE] INCUBUS/Brandon Boyd, With encouragement on how to make a positive difference in the world: Responsibility, Self-sufficience, cleaning up after one's self, stay aware, to name a few.  [photo use by permission of Ren Management.] THE THRILLS - Thrilled for Learning! Vocalist/songwriter Conor Deasy wants to learn:  I WANT TO LEARN MUSIC THEORY... Click in for the full feature article plus more about their new record LET'S BOTTLE BOHEMIA. The Thrills headlined the 2004 benefit concert. (Photograph posted with permission of Virgin Records. ADVOCATES OF PHILANTHROPY - RADIOHEAD Bring Out the Stars at Hollywood Bowl. ...It's about ALL the people that made it what it is together. (Photo courtesty of NLM) [MORE] I WORKED HARD AND IT PAID OFF. - Mitch Mills.[MORE] MOTIVATE YOURSELF.  IT'S THE HARDEST THING TO DO FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY. - Robert Harvey (Lead Vocalist - THE MUSIC) - ...with that most screaming wild unique guitar riff by guitarist, Adam Nutter, in FLOAT that simply winds me up and makes me dance as it intends. What a contrast it is to hear Robert, one who likes to read spiritual philosophical subjects... [MORE] (Photograph by courtesy of Capitol Records.) LIVE, LOVE, LEARN. - Darius Rucker.  Back To Then, brilliant with heart and soul... (Photograph by Stephen Danelian.  Courtesy of Hidden Beach Records.)[MORE]

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