Singing to Myself

For the last couple of years, I’ve been writing songs. It’s a lot of fun and occasionally, one of them gets played on a radio station – usually in the USA – which is quite a thrill if I’m honest about it. Like almost everything these days, anyone can now make a record and put it out on digital platforms like Spotify. It’s an era in which anyone can, if they desire, do pretty much anything creatively whether they find an audience or not. And most of us don’t. Most of us are singing to ourselves because there is simply so much choice – music, books, videos and so on. In fact, there is a scientific rule that the distribution of things is always unequal such that a country will only have one very large city or that a handful of authors will sell the majority of books bought and so on. I forget the name of the actual law or rule but it pretty much governs everything.

Making music is also fun because when you record a song it is done so track by track. Usually, I keep adding the tracks until finished but recently I listened to each track in turn seeking to improve the sound quality of each individually. What I discovered surprised me. Each track, on its own, actually sounds… well awful. But, when you layer those tracks one on top of another, the effect can be magnificent. In the interplay between the different tracks there is a bigger whole – a more complete picture if you will. I also discovered that overlaying multiple imperfect vocal tracks can create something much better than the sum of its individual parts and so now I record vocals at least 3 times and overlay them.

These discoveries made me think. All of the little things I do as a person that may not have much obvious value, add up to a life that can be magnificent in intensity and scope. When you do something – anything small – it seems just a small thing but, when you put all of these small things together there can be a life that is larger than the sum of its parts.

It’s quite easy to dismiss ourselves as irrelevant. What we do in the quiet of our lives doesn’t usually make headlines or have necessarily any discernable impact but when you add all of what we do – all of our thoughts and actions – it adds up to something pretty special whether or not we happen to get lucky and make it to the bigtime or not. We are all important parts of a whole and our lives and actions meld together in surprising ways and can manifest many things.

The trick to it is what motivates us to do things? If we learn to go with the flow of life, surprising things will happen. If we trust in Divine Providence (or whatever you believe in) and keep on doing the little things that we do with a positive attitude, we can have a huge impact on the world – not as ourselves necessarily, but as a part of humanity. Each of us contributes a little to the whole. Each of us sings to ourselves but the effect can be a work of magnificence when those songs are put together.

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