Sometimes a change of perspective helps things make more sense.
One simple thing changed my entire perspective of a song.
Have you guys heard the song “Better Man” performed by Little Big Town?
In my younger days, I was a hard rock head banger, but living here in Ocala, Florida, we have no rock stations except classic rock or pop, so for lack of anything else when I am in the car, I have become a country music listener. I must admit, I do like a lot of the country now, and my station of choice is “K-Country.” (Sorry college Head banger’s Ball buddies.)
Earlier this year a song was released called “Better Man” by Little Big Town.
The song is really catchy and that chorus just sticks in your head. I kept finding myself singing it, but I was NOT happy about the message of the song.
Having been in a bad relationship for nearly a decade in my 20’s and finally finding the love of my life in my late 30’s, I wanted to tell the 40-something year old singer Karen Fairchild to JUST GET OVER the idiot who wasn’t a “Better Man” already! It upset me that she was wasting so much time on this loser.
I voiced the frustration I had with the song to D, telling him how “dumb” the singer is to pine over the jerk because there will be someone MUCH better out there for her. (He of course, being a guy, thinks the song is just dumb and boring all the way around and couldn’t understand what my problem was to begin with!)
This went on for a few weeks. I’d sing along to it on the radio and hum it to myself even when it wasn’t on, all the while fighting with myself about liking it! (yeah, this is how my brain works.)
Finally, one morning the disc jockey introduced it by saying “Here’s a song written by Taylor Swift…” and alas, on came the lovely beginning chords for “Better Man!”
IMMEDIATELY my entire mindset about the song changed! I felt better about the context and could just enjoy it and sing along. There were no more inner thoughts about how stupid the woman in the song is!!!
Do you have ANY clue what I’m talking about?
Why would it matter WHO wrote the song and who sings it? Why oh why?
It is simple really, just a matter of perspective. I was frustrated listening to the song being sung by an older woman who is pining over a guy when I think she should know better. I wanted to tell her to wise up, realize he’s a jerk and know there are many other “fish in the sea.”
I didn’t identify with the song because, at her age, I thought she should realize she doesn’t NEED a guy at all. By comparing her situation to my own, since I been strong enough to leave a negative relationship and move on, I couldn’t “respect” her or sympathize with her.
Once I found out it was written by Taylor Swift, a much younger woman, I could finally just really LIKE the song for what it was. I could sympathize with the woman in the song since she was so young and even be proud of her for knowing enough to know she could do so much better than her “Better Man.”
So, I am now happy that I can like the song without all of the weird hang-ups I had about it at first. However, I am a bit upset with myself for being such a judgmental “beeatch” at the beginning of this story. So, what if it WAS from the perspective of an older woman. Who am I to judge anybody else’s situation?
Why should I assume anything about the woman in the song?
Bottom line is…I shouldn’t. None of us should make a habit of assuming things about or judging other people. Ever. Instead, we should try to empathize without passing judgement and be open-minded about the choices our fellow humans make. As long as somebody else’s choice of action is not harming anyone else, they should be free to take that action without criticism.
(The part about not harming anyone else is the key. Obviously if others are being harmed, something needs to be done to stop the action, duh.)
We are each walking our own path, and that path is a personal, solitary one. Every one of us has experiences, thoughts, feelings and values uniquely our own. We bring our own perspective into each situation we meet. Because of this, each one of us would approach the exact situation in a different way and come up with a different solution. Instead of judging or criticizing, here’s an idea…maybe we could start empathizing….
I’d love to hear from others. Feel free to comment below.
Have you ever had a certain perception of something that got suddenly changed? What was it at first, and what caused it to change?