Parenting Blog

Little Lessons in Gratitude and Appreciating More Than What’s Directly In Front Of You

Frank Turner Lessons in Gratitude

It was our second-ever Frank Turner concert and the English frontman did the same thing on both occasions. Something 99.9% of bands don’t think to do.

At some point near the middle of his passionate, blistering punk-folk sets, Turner paused above a steady but subdued back beat to show gratitude, to thank, and to lead the audience in thanking with roars, shouts, whistles and hand claps (the audible method of demonstrative thankyou-ing very much left up to the individual concertgoer), his crew and the employees of the venue, saying something along the lines of:

“My crew start working on the show hours before we take the stage and don’t finish working for hours after we’re done here. They work harder and longer than we do and they don’t get the applause so let’s give them one because none of this happens without them”.

I love nearly all of Frank Turner’s songs but I cheer loudest for his crew and for the venue staff. And I love that the guy who’s name is on the marquee demonstrates gratitude and thinks to direct his audience’s attention to the guys and gals in the shadows of the live music biz, the guys and gals who make his profession, thus his life, possible.

On Sunday afternoon we drove down to Philly with my wife’s Big Brothers / Big Sisters Little in tow to take in the final Ringling Brothers circus. It was one of the youngster’s dreams, I discovered, to see that big show, and I was happy to have been able to arrange it thanks to knowing the PR team representing the circus. As we were driving back home, I channeled a little Frank Turner and pointed out to the kids how much work went into putting on the circus they had just enjoyed. From the seamstresses hand-making all the costumes to the painters and woodworkers who built the floats, and from the electrical engineers who figure out all the logistics to make the show happen so seamlessly to the crew who safely and expertly hang all the piping, catwalks and everything else on the arena stage. There’s a cast of hundreds on the arena floor soaking up the cheers every night but there are thousands in the background who make those cheers possible.

The kids wouldn’t get the chance to say thank you to those people but I needed to know that they stopped, if only for a second, to consider all of them and their many contributions to the fun they’d had that afternoon.

Can you even imagine how many people make the circus happen?

The same thing is true in pretty much every nook and cranny of life and it is important to, if not always have it front of mind, to at least be aware of who and what is behind the curtain and in the periphery of what is directly in front of you as you move through it. In short, if you get the chance, try to show some gratitude to the boom mic guy, the make-up lady, the people who unload the delivery trucks at Starbucks, the dude who cleans the treadmill at the gym, and everyone else who makes our world spin.

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joc