Other People Matter, And You Matter Too


As I type here on my blog, I can hear Rita playing Joni Mitchell’s Circle Game in the background. Joni is singing to me:

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time

I’m reminded of how repetitive life can be and am catapulted backward and forward in time.

Back in the spring of 1976, at Mount Hood Community College, I signed up for Basic Piano, but never made it very far, and dropped the class. I still feel sad for that.

Somehow, someone (I’m not sure if it was Andy Stokes or a guy named Bo from the baseball team), taught me to play a few chords from Bill Wither’s Lean on Me. Every once in a while, I feel the impulse to circle back and play those chords, and pretend I can sign.

This morning I’m circling back again, to those few chords, to Lean on Me, and to the Happy Habits series Rita and I are producing with the University of Montana. And so here’s my tribute to Bill Withers, the past, the future, and the present: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0Nju66rif4&feature=youtu.be

And here’s the link to the video and written material that Rita and I produced for UM: https://coehs.umt.edu/happy_habits_series_2020/hhs_module_four.php

Have a fabulous Friday and weekend.

5 thoughts on “Other People Matter, And You Matter Too”

  1. Hi, John,
    It is wonderful to see you, and to realize that the piano is one other way you express your essentially positive self. I loved your tribute to Bill Withers and your confidence that we can get through this together. Today, for example, I loved my interactions with UPS, Clearwater Credit Union, the Food Farm and two guys at Ace hardware. We can do this. Best to you and Rita

    1. Hi Gary! We just put out a fire. Literally. That must be my excuse for being so slow in getting back to you. Glad to hear you’re socially connecting from a distance. I hope you and Joyce are healthy and well! John

  2. Maybe lockdown is a good time to pick it back up again? If other people say they can I’m sure you can too (you’ve already got the head start of dabbling with it a few years ago!).

    I’m a great believer that if you’re compass points North you will always come back on track eventually, the needle just keeps returning to that true North point of reference. So if your True North is learning to play, then you’ll keep coming back to it.
    Your regret for putting it down might be your compass pointing…

  3. I’m way behind in following blogs social media at the moment, as you can probably tell. Really liked this post….especially your rendition of “Lean on Me” and Rita’s thoughts on forgiveness are spot on for me.

    I have just in the last few hours challenged a younger male friend to a project of singing “Lean on Me” as a duet whilst we are in lockdown. We have not quite got the “how to” sorted out but we are looking forward to the end product. , especially as my son and I usef to ding this together when he was alive.

    Take good care you two xxx

    1. Thanks Carol. I always love hearing from you. I’m touched by your genuine engagement in the world. I look forward to hearing your duet if it happens and if I get a link! All my best, John

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