I’m usually not one known for having an overly optimistic outlook on life. I’ve been around the proverbial block a few times and there aren’t many things that inspire me to sing a joyous song.
But for every rule there are exceptions.
This morning I had to take my daughter to school early so she could practice her parts for an upcoming play. She doesn’t get to hang out with dad much, so she made a party of it by bringing along her Miley Cyrus CD. My car is my domain and I am certain that nothing quite so saccharine and squeaky clean has ever been blasted out of my speaker box.
Dream Theater? Check.
System of a Down? Beastie Boys? Double-check.
Um . . .
But I am a good dad – or so they tell me – so Miley made her debut on my Pioneer as we drove to school. It wasn’t like I’d never heard her sing or watched her show before; we own the latest DVD and a CD or two which, my wife tells me, seldom leave their respective playback devices. But it’s always been background noise for me – merely something else to tune out so I can function properly.
This morning I gave Miley a chance.
There’s my daughter, smiling and singing along with Miley . . .
Don’t let anyone
Tell you that you’re not strong enough
Don’t give up
There’s nothing wrong with just being yourself
That’s more than enough
So come on and raise your voice
speak your mind and make some noise
Make some noise
. . . and there’s me, actually getting choked up. My eyes moistened as the message of the song gripped me by the heart and I suddenly realized that life is way too short to be as crabby as I tend to be on way too many occasions.
Life is tough, and sometimes I forget that my daughter has her moments as well. Moments when things aren’t going quite like she planned. When her friends rub her the wrong way. When dinner just doesn’t taste right. When her siblings overshadow her, forcing her to shout to be heard. These things seem trite compared to the struggles adults face but to a seven-year-old they are mountainous nonetheless. During those times, thanks to Ms. Cyrus, she’s learning to be herself, to make some noise, and to never quit trying.
There I go, getting all sentimental. But maybe the world needs Miley right now. I’m glad she’s out there being a positive influence through her music. My daughter needs that. And, perhaps, so do I.