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Empowerment with Self Awareness & Follow-Through
Written by Melanie Silos

Outside the Los Angeles Wiltern Theater after a beautiful performance from Keane, I met an independent artist of Afterward, an 80's influenced post-grunge/punk band from Ventura, California, guitarist Cameron Smith who reminds US, "Never forget who YOU are." This is the matter of being self-aware and upholding the essence of one's greatest nature as it is the core of strength in ones existence and prosperity. It means to stand true to your values and act upon them. It�s the creation of empowerment with self-awareness and follow-through.

In every sense of what it means to remember who you are, it begins with self-awareness and definition. What is your greatest nature, the better nature of humankind? What is the core of strength in your existence? Keane, the emotive British group from Battle, Sussex UK, expressed their self-definition with their song "Hamburg" sharing the value of self-awareness and effort to shine a light of love, the core and essence of their nature.

It's an important matter for USA to be self-aware and never forget who WE are: one nation under God, indivisible... a govt. by the people for the people, under the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, free speech, democracy and all, and with the United Nations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The country where EVERY rock n' roller from any country can enjoy a good tour and an appreciating audience.

These are crucial times for US politics, so please act upon participating in the democratic process and keep the US of America the free country that it was founded to be. This means if you aren�t allowed to vote, you may get involved with organizations that are making a difference, and use the freedom of expression to contact government officials to let them know your proposed solutions on matters of importance. Musician Reeve Carney affirms, �If you don�t vote, don�t complain.� So, Rock for Learning encourages if you are eligible to vote, please: Register to vote, update your registration, sign initiatives, petitions, letters to govt. leaders, and VOTE. At the polls or by mail, please VOTE.

As I have been working diligently in the community on campaigns and canvassing in Los Angeles, CA, it has become increasingly apparent that people are forgetting the purpose of the USA - who we are and how we got here in the first place. From just the tip of the iceberg, fewer people are voting, oppressions and suppressions of free expression are happening, people are facing more severe scrutiny for having unpopular or politically-incorrect opinions or distasteful ideas, public interest groups claiming what's in the best interest of public health are venturing into the private properties (cars, homes and private business) attempting to outlaw certain freedoms that are presently ours, businesses violating labor laws, violating equal employment laws, violating privacy laws, and the very freedoms that people of history had fought and lost their lives to achieve for us. In history people died for our freedoms. And what's happening as this integrated melting pot of international immigration, this country called the USA, is that people in our own country are forgetting it, and our freedoms are slowly being faded away. Of course, it is for this very matter that it is so important to LEARN HISTORY so we can know, appreciate and actively participate to uphold our purpose of being, the essence of who we are, and what we love about it.

In a deep conversation on the matter with goth/metal musician/singer/drummer, Joshua Swanbom, from Clovis, CA., he declares he loves America, "America is the only country that is EVERYONE, the country that is comprised of every ethnicity and culture of every other country in the world. There's no other country like it. We are the one country with the greatest relief effort in the entire world." So as I sit here in the historical Barney's Beanery in West Hollywood, CA, next to Jimmy Page and Janis Joplin on the wall, and John Mellencamp playing on the jukebox singing "R-O-C-K in the USA!", I am reminded to appreciate and never forget those who have gone before us who have made the paths we enjoy today, and from which we can create new trails to blaze. And at this table at which I write are great people of rock n' roll history that we must never forget: Elvis, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Jimmy Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Ozzy Osbourne and family, Elton John with Eminem, and many more. As Neil Young affirms with his song "Rockin in a Free World", let's keep on rockin' and have a place to play. Let's learn history, make history, be ever empowered and self-aware to actively participate and preserve the essence of our better nature, in ourselves, our countries, and all humanity. Join us in learning whatever it takes and be self-aware at


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