What do you expect from yourself? Why do you do the things you do? Why are you the way you are? That’s what this book is about. Every one of us is trying to accomplish something and maybe struggling a little bit to figure things out as we proceed through life. We’re trying to reach goals, do the right things and live according the values that guide us. These are not easy things to handle in our topsy-turvy world, full of peer pressure, tantalizing distractions, and unlimited choices. None of us can avoid life’s potholes or get too far down the road toward success without sage advice and reliable information. Fortunately, these are not hard to find. One day it occurred to me that I learned many life lessons by just listening to the radio.
For example. rock and roll has a lot to say about money. Despite all the fuss, it’s just one of the things going on in everybody’s life so there’s no reason to think somebody else’s grass is greener. Most likely it’s not and even if it is, the water bill is surely a lot higher over there. Despite different income levels, we’re all the same. Life is the great equalizer so there’s no need to pine away for things we don’t have or fret because we don’t have enough money to do all the things we want to do or buy all the things we want to have.
Rock and roll also provides insight about your heart. No one really knows what’s going on in there, except you. You can cover up, twist the facts, rationalize and ignore and no one will know the difference. But, if you really want to strengthen your grip on yourself, you’ll work on your heart because whatever you are is a consequence of what’s in your heart. In there is what you’re really like. It’s the real you…more like you than what people see. There’s a side of you that few people ever see. “Well we all have a face that we hide away forever. And we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone”…Billy Joel, The Stranger.
Rock and roll can even help families do better: “I love you for who you are, not the one you feel you need to be”…Sly & Family Stone, Everybody Is a Star. This is a helpful perspective because in homes, parents help children develop self-esteem and an appreciation for others. This appreciation for others helps us make friends and be a friend. This is terrific because we all need someone to provide us with increased determination in the face of daunting challenges, someone to affirm our worth, someone to give us hope when we’re faltering, someone to inject us with courage when we need it and someone to tell us what they really think. Rock and roll has lots to say about friendship. For example: “Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?”...James Taylor, You’ve Got a Friend.
The topic of time is a topic covered well by rock and roll lyrics. This is great because when I think of all the things I have on my list that I want to do, my frustration grows because of all the annoying things I have to do. Things like standing in line or sitting in traffic siphon away minutes that could be better spent doing things that make life invigorating and worthwhile. I have to keep moving because it seems like I always have so much I have to do. The Beatles provided this helpful reminder: “Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend”…The Beatles, We Can Work It Out.
If we listen closely to rock and roll, we can learn to reject greed, safeguard a marriage, pay attention to our children, be a better friend, help one another, love one another, take better care of ourselves, appreciate work, consider retirement, change the world, change the world, chase dreams, consider death, count our blessings, and savor time. Rock and roll lyrics contain countless nuggets of wisdom that can make life better.