“How monotonous the sounds of the forest would be if the music came only from the Top 10 birds.”
“Ask yourself how would you be
if you didn’t know the day you were born.”
~Toby Keith, “Don’t Let the Old Man In”
The young man of me had long hair and dressed in ways that adults looked at me with dismay, and my peers looked at me with acceptance.
“The old man” isn’t about the outward appearance of a man (or woman), but the attitude we live with.
In our work, transformation means becoming homogenized and standardized, rather than transformed.
We learn to speak an odd language of cordiality but lacking substance.
We speak indirectly to others, rather than freely.
We cease finding meaning in our days and pursue purpose in our nights and weekends until one day we wake up to discover it is nowhere to be found.
Most trudge on, commuting to their grave.
To use the lyrics from later on in the song,
“When he rides up on his horse
And you feel that cold bitter wind
Look out your window and smile
Don’t let the old man in”
By now, he’s already in the house and grounds you to submission. Your mind has taken a ride of his choice, not yours.
We spend our lives being transformed into something unsatisfying, forgetting the people and things most important to us aren’t our work.
An old friend spoke of his uncle who, with his father, were popular composers in the last century. Upon his uncle’s passing, I thought it was fitting that Bob spoke of not wanting to die with the music inside him.
And if all the music that comes from you is Top 10 music, you haven’t played your own song. It has been someone else’s.
“I’m singing this note ’cause it fits in well
With the chords I’m playing
I can’t pretend there’s any meaning here
Or in the things I’m saying
~The Who, “Getting in Tune”
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon, and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV, and 90+ smart sets.
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