This past weekend, I had the task (and pleasure) of helping my partner Brian with the”behind the scenes” activities in producing a concert. The show was an evening of music and conversation with Peter Yarrow (remember Peter, Paul and Mary? He’s Peter!). The evening was a great success, there was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie in the room and of course everyone enjoyed hearing all the old hits and even sang along to two of the most famous and best-loved of them, “Blowin’ In The Wind” and “Puff the Magic Dragon.”
There were a couple of things that I consider to be remarkable about this show. First, that Peter Yarrow is still performing at age 76! Second, I got to spend time with one of the icons from an era of this country’s most historically significant social movements. Apart from being a celebrated artist and performer, he’s been an activist all of his adult life – he protested the Vietnam War, marched with Dr. King for civil rights and more recently, rallied with the thousands who gathered in NYC to bring awareness to climate change. In 2000, he co-founded Operation Respect, a non-profit organization dedicated to, in his words, “…shifting the American educational paradigm, to educating the whole child; not just in academics but in character, heart, social-emotional development.” The list of Peter Yarrow’s achievements is long and impressive.
I got to meet Mr. Yarrow one-on-one because I was part of the staff, but I believe that everyone at the show that night felt that they had met him too – his demeanor was lighthearted and playful, his message was one of caring and concern for our plight as humans, as we all try to realize the same basic goals – to be loved and seen and celebrated for who we are. The warmth he projected toward his audience was reciprocated in kind. There was love in the room, as we shared laughter, stories and music.
It occurred to me the next day that had it not been for my role as backstage helper, I may never have seen this show. Sure, I know the music from my younger days. I even rediscovered an old Peter, Paul and Mary songbook in a stash of memorabilia during my recent decluttering project. But what would I have missed if I’d not attended that show? I would have missed the essence of Peter Yarrow and all he represents and has to offer. I would have missed the shared experience of his message of love, kindness and humor, and his call for personal responsibility in our role as stewards of our planet and society. The man and the message were true treasures that I received that night. I’m so glad that I decided to help, in my small way, that night. I’m glad that I didn’t wait until some other time, “later” to see him perform live. He is, after all, 76.
There is “treasure” all around us. Take a moment to think about who or what inspires, motivates or excites you and make a commitment to connect with that – today. Don’t put it off. Now is the time to unearth those treasures!
Stay Healthy. Be Happy.