Clap For Yourself

Always remember my friend
The world will change again
And you may have to come back
Through everywhere you’ve been
When your life was low
You had nowhere to go
People turned their backs on you
And everybody said that you were through
I took you in, made you strong again
Put you back together
Out of all the dreams you left along the way
You left me shining
Now you’re doing well
From stories I hear tell
You own the world again
Everyone’s your friend
Although I never hear from you
Still it’s nice to know
You used to love me so
When your life was low.
“When Your Life Was Low” – Will Jennings/Joe Sample
I chose two loveless occupations – marketing in the music industry and pastor.  I guess it would be better to say I chose one and the other chose me.  Either way, neither is crafted for immediate reward.  The former marks you as good as your last deed and the latter promises reward in the end.
I was listening to the Lalah Hathaway & Joe Sample version of “When Your Life Was Low” and reflecting on the premise that although we’re told no one is an island, it often feels like you’re all alone when you’re not the flavor of the month.
Don’t get me wrong, I know life has its ups and downs.  And I’m not whining.  I happen to reflect on my days working inside a major record label and those infamous meetings where each marketing director sat in the rotating seat belonging to the Golden Child, when your project was the promising CashCow for quarter earnings.  It was a bittersweet slot that meant the senior management would remember your name for the week as they checked in to make sure all projections were still heading upward.  But when you had a release that had “stink” on it, as we would say, you became PERSONA NON GRATA. That could be a low point.
Today, I observed a woman in the store, pushing a toddler stroller with a stuffed teddy bear strapped in.  As she glided down the aisles in full conversation with herself, I began to feel sad.
I reflected, was it because in the midst of all of the superficial issues we face and the insane late night tweets from the White House, we still have people looking for a listening ear, even if it’s their own?
I thought about this woman’s plight.  Did she have friends before she found her bottom? Was she as good as her last deed and it had long passed?  She had found her one cheerleader today – herself!  Granted, this situation was probably plagued with a mental illness, but the image felt familiar.  Heck, I thought, that could be me!
We all want someone to be in our corner, no matter how much we say to the contrary. Where do you go when even your mama and daddy have lost faith in you?  I could hear Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” as she sings ” I need someone to clap for me.” Who claps for you when the game is over and you didn’t win…when your life is low…who picks you up?
The devout Christian will say “just pray about it. God’s got it.”  The egotist will say, “I’m all I need.”  I say, we all need someone.  But in the end, the only way you can get someone to clap for you is when you learn to clap for yourself.
Clap on my friends!!

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