I spent the weekend in Chicago for the very last Grateful Dead concerts.
One last blast of the 1960’s deep into the 2010’s.
I overheard a few things this weekend that resonated deeply and I have a burning desire to share with you:
1. “I feel totally reset with life.”
My friend said that after seeing the show last night. Such is the healing power of live music. God knows how easily we lose our way. It’s like when you are typing on your computer…and you put your fingers on the wrong home keys and you type out: “shlj= weljljlj akjd wjowmlas.”
Sometimes we need to RESET! This means immersing yourself in something that you remember loving…something that transformed you…something that stirred within you a feeling that just f*cking felt good.
Yesterday when I got home to NYC, I took my son to our local park. There was a Cuban drum circle. I took my son out of the stroller and we just started to dance. It was not something I’d usually do…too self-conscious about my moves to ever dance in public.
But having pressed RESET, this was possible. My son smiled his big gummy smile and I was reminded that there’s something special about live music..whether it’s a legendary band…or 5 Cuban dudes in the park.
As the Dead sing, “When you get confused…listen to the music play!”
2. “Please be kind.”
As drummer Mickey Hart said in the Grateful Dead’s final words to their fans after last night’s concert, “Please be kind.”
Oh the transformation you could cause right this second by being kinder and more loving to the people in your life… and even more so to yourself!
When fans entered the stadium, everyone received a rose. That’s a lot of roses. It was the most wonderful touch, a way for the band to say not just “thank you,” but “I LOVE YOU.”
So many of the Grateful Dead’s song are mantras about love, peace, and freedom. It’s so cliché in 2015 but then again, that’s what’s wrong with 2015.
Be a force for love and kindness and you will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS overcome everything and anything that stands in your path
(And the stuff you don’t overcome is meant to guide you in a different direction)
As the Dead sing, “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”
3. “Memory is a precious resource around here.”
When you are around a bunch of Deadhead hippies, they tend not to be the sharpest tools in the shed. Or are they? These last concerts grossed $50,000,000. That’s 50 million dollars.
People have serious passion and were willing to break out their wallets, not just for the music, but for the community, the vibe, the history.
The Dead represented an era. And that era is sorely missed and sorely needed in today’s culture. In a time when we spend most of our day staring at a screen…how healing would it be to spin around, to dance, to sing and to release all the sh*t that weighs on you.
You work so hard to get it done, to be successful, to raise your children, to live your best life. Yet so many of us feel like what we are doing is NEVER enough. We feel like we need to think deeper, work harder, remember more.
The 1960’s and the Grateful Dead left us with many messages. But the one that really seems to rise above is this:
The most wonderful (and wonder-filled) life…is the one lived with as much love as you can possibly muster. Do that and you will win at work, at home, and most importantly, in the quiet moments of isolation…
…and the jubilant ones with thousands all chanting, as they did last night:
YOU KNOW OUR LOVE WILL NOT FADE AWAY!