Behind the Music – Tongue In Cheek

tic-oli-k-7Too often in life we overlook the impact of our words…

Back when I was in middle school outside London, I vividly recall a period where I experienced some harsh perspectives surrounding my religious practices. The school I was enrolled in was in fact a Christian Private School that held a weekly Mass for the entire student body; pastors and other ceremony officiators even lived on the campus.

While faculty understood that not every pupil held the same religious beliefs and customs, they still expected everyone to participant. Teachers demonstrated some alternatives for pupils who did not practice the School’s Faith and for the most part, everyone seemed fine; all 800 kids ranging from 11 to 18 years.

tic-oli-k-3Unfortunately in my case, I was that one oddball and it seemed that the law of averages was against me in this scenario. I personally did not feel comfortable to participant in anything at all. While I respectfully attended the meetings, I did not involve myself in the religious ceremonies as the faculty had instructed.

I won’t forget the labeling from classmates: “unholy,” and, “devil’s child.” For a kid of 13, it was all a bit much. While it’s natural for us at a young age to point out the abnormal, core judgmental traits can regrettably transcend our later years and in this case, my professors’ scowls said it all.

tic-oli-k-5Today, the concept of being able to say anything we please to another individual online without having to entertain that same person in a face-to-face setting means that we too often find ourselves getting caught in a virtual crossfire of words and accusations. The silver lining of Social Media has become very apparent in that people can both offend and take offensive far too easily.

Ultimately as adults we too easily antagonize and judge before truly taking a step back to consider the alternative. While we are always going to disagree, it’s imperative to realize that disagreement does not equate to an argument. On the contrary, life is all about being able to choose for ourselves and demonstrating a tangible degree of love for our fellow individual.

You can hear a lot of these themes in the songwriting of ‘Tongue In Cheek.’ The title itself suggests even things said sarcastically or without purpose can still have an effect:

Oh you can hurt me, hate me, or love me… no matter what I do. You’re bargaining, gambling, waging a life, help don’t come when it’s through, be ready.

I’ll take you by the hand, and show you what I consider true. Tongue in cheek let me be, the other soul free.

The bridge packs quite a punch lyrically speaking:

I’m moving, I’m moving…

Life isn’t all about what you say, we rise and we fall through our choices…

A people will point when they find you, doing what’s right isn’t wrong…

tic-oli-k-4Now back to my simple case study example, I felt truly validated when I saw how over time, my peers began to respect and cherish me for my beliefs. One of my best friends even ended up coming to one of my church services one Sunday. I learned a very powerful lesson from that experience; nothing good comes from overt negativity.

Our greatest trait as human beings is our unique capacity to love.

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