Allie and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary in a bit of admitted access. Our tax return came (props to our accounting firm, CHARITAX, for making that happen) and – in typical poor-money-management fashion – we purchased some awesome seats to see Beyonce & Jay Z in Cincinnati. (We had a few moments leading up to the show where we debated selling them….THANK GOD WE DIDN’T).
As the show neared, our buyer’s remorse subsided and we swelled with excitement. We even had a hard time sleeping the night before the show….
As we walked into Great American Ballpark and I was immediately struck by the diversity of the crowd. While white-folks were the minority, it was hard to really feel that way. Straight folks, Gay folks, 13-year-olds, 60-year-olds and folks of absolutely every shape and color.
During one period of their 2.5 hour performance, Beyonce stood on stage and the crowd simply went nuts. Worship almost. She stood – all fierce and whatnot – for 5 minutes while fans from front row to upper-desk went crazy. I think if she’d have asked folks to drop to a knee and praise her, they would have.
I’ve been to religious conferences full of fervor, I’ve been to a two-night sold out Coldplay show (noticeably NOT a diverse crowd at that one) and I’ve yet to see anything like I experienced that night.
To me, B+J communicated one thing without saying it:
I AM INCREDIBLE AND SO CAN YOU!
Together worth around $850 million, they feel untouchable. Their art communicates so many aspects of life: struggle, hurt, success and fear.
It’s easy to pick apart their lyrics, their songs and poke holes in the world views espoused by each piece. But combined, it’s a thing of beauty.
Too often we miss the first half of the lesson: I AM INCREDIBLE.
We beat ourselves up. We don’t love parts of ourselves. We live ashamed of something about our lives. We shrink back. We puff up to prove to others who we are.
And too often we miss the opportunity to empower others: “AND SO CAN YOU.”
We minimize the other. Critique. Get jealous. Act skeptical. We watch celebrities and judge their appearance, their choices & their art. We beat each other up. We don’t empathize. We don’t show compassion. We don’t celebrate the other. We don’t breathe life.
I’ve never been to such an empowering evening. Ever. And that’s sad really.
Sure J+B are flawed. Sure they’re fallible… but the lesson struck me.