"I don't know if music can change the world overnight, but I know that music can help someone make it through a difficult night." -Michael Franti, American rap artist
And maybe that's really how we do it - maybe that's "How We Change The World." Not sure where I'm going with this? Hear me out.
Micro-movements, or small actions for ourselves, have an interesting way of morphing into a willingness to help those who are in close proximity to us. Nurturing and working on our health and self-image puts us in a better position to show compassion to loved ones, to our communities, and possibly even to strangers in the wide world around us. Through our personal wellness, we have the capacity to help others feel better.
It seems that if we want to take care of the world - to change it for the better - it's not a bad idea to start by taking care of ourselves.
It's fairly commonly recognized, I think, that listening to music has psychological effects that we *definitely* notice but often have a difficult time putting into words. Universally, it speaks to us. It makes us feel. And move. And reflect.
Think about how music affects your life.
An upbeat playlist fires you up at the gym, while soft music helps you drift off to a peaceful sleep.
A 2007 Stanford University study found that listening to classical music in particular can help with focus and information retention, which is a method anecdotally tried and tested by many a college student cramming for final exams.
Certain songs trigger vibrant memories - they can bring us back to a vivid moment in time, and these memories can make us laugh or cry.
A song might help us process or vent our anger.
A song might remind us that we're not alone in our struggles.
A song might even help us through a difficult night.
For the entirety of documented history, people of all cultures and backgrounds have utilized music in daily life and in ritual, in entertainment and in worship, in mourning and in celebration. It's the "universal language of mankind," to quote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Music is like a core we orbit. It's something to which we can gravitate.
At the risk of this all sounding quite cheesy, here's my point: we should nurture our love for music. Music gives us a lot. This is kind of how we can give back to it.
And who knows: maybe the time we take appreciating music will help us become better, healthier individuals. And if healthier individuals lead us to a better world, then that's pretty great, too.