One of my favorite movies turned 20 years old a couple weeks ago, and as far as I'm concerned it's STILL a classic. I can still remember being a kid at the drive-in theater in Memphis, barely understanding what Morpheus, Neo, and company were up to, but today, scenes like this still guide much of my life's philosophies:
Did you see the sign above the Oracle's kitchen door? That phrase, "Temet Nosce", was one of my very first tattoos. It's on my chest, so that every time I look in the mirror I can see it. It serves as a reminder of purpose - the most important and valuable thing a person can have in my opinion.
Reflecting on my recent trip to NYC, and other things, has put me in this area of my mind today. It's always exciting for me to share my life's passion with others, but sometimes it can seem like more of a challenge than a joy to figure out ways to hit new audiences with the joys of classical music (and by new audiences, I'm usually talking about audiences that look like me). On my final night on-air last week, I shaped each of my breaks, and much of the music, as if I were talking directly to the people who share my non-classical interests - specifically hip-hop heads, and hip-hop Podcast listeners. As much as I'm able to shape programming toward non-typical audiences, it's easy to reach a mental brick wall sometimes. I ran up against one really hard, and started doubting whether or not this is what I'm going to be doing for the next several years. When I finally got home, I sifted through the night's mail and found this note:
I get tons of mail every night - lots good, some not-so-good, but this one stood out. It reminded me of what my purpose is. No, I'm not (yet) a leading hip-hop commentator, or a famous Podcaster. Instead, I'm someone who brings joy to people through this weird thing called classical music. As I continue to think about and shape my own purpose, I hope you'll do the same. The minute you feel lost, remember that there are people who count on you, and care for you - even if they're behind a digital screen.
The late Nipsey Hussle's purpose was so much more than rap. He provided jobs, an outlet, and HOPE for so many in his community. I'll be completely honest and admit that I didn't listen to his music everyday, but I DID follow and admire his work in the Crenshaw community - it's a neighborhood I called home while I was at USC. The world officially says goodbye to him tomorrow (April 11th) - may he rest in power.