What Happened to Class?

What Happened to Class?

It’s Sunday…

I continue my love/hate/never read the comments/oh shit, I read the comments, now do I comment? relationship with social media.

Ignoring & not reading stupidity is probably easier on my blood pressure, so I try to scroll on by. I am not always successful.

However, what’s the end game by being rude when you, yourself, are a part of the business in some way, ridiculing or being rude in public space about someone else in the business? Is that necessary?

I think we know the answer to that.

The rudeness, the bullying, the disrespect, the passive/aggressive behavior in personal attacks reveals more about the lack of class, lack of moral integrity and lack of simple human empathy from the person writing. It’s even more appalling when it’s someone in our business. The run of the mill troll is simply that: an uninformed and ordinary troll. However, when someone is part of the business in some way, there’s something even more ridiculous and insidious about the behavior.

Which leads me to simple behavior.

As an artist, we have a huge capacity for self-doubt. We do not operate under the delusion that we are the best thing since the pop tart. On the positive side, it allows us to delve in and create and hone and re-examine our work and our progress; on the negative side, self-doubt can be crippling.

Call me crazy, but what if, WHAT IF, we simply hold space for ourselves, and then for others in our sphere to do their work. The work is a reflection of so many factors. Shouldn’t we simply recognize and acknowledge the PERMISSION to do the work?

In giving permission, to self, to others, to holding space, and giving permission to DO the work, the entire energy shifts. It no longer requires a hierarchy of “is it okay?”

It doesn’t have to be okay. It doesn’t have to be amazing. It doesn’t have to be anything but simply REAL.

Real isn’t always pretty; it is seldom perfect; it won’t appeal to everybody’s sensibilities; it might cause a huge emotional response that wasn’t expected - good, bad and ugly. It’s not tied up with a bow. Nor it is sterile and lifeless. That’s real.

Isn’t that what art is? Isn’t art an embodied reflection? How can it not be a reflection of who is viewing it/hearing it/sensing it?

So, as an artist, pursuing your truth, your craft, your raison d’être: give yourself permission to hold space for yourself, so you can do the work. Give others permission to hold space with you, around you, or over there away from you. Let the work occur. See where it takes you, what it offers you, what it might reveal to you, in order for you to take another step in a direction you hadn’t even considered yet!

In your movement, in your accessibility, you reveal truth. How someone responds to that truth, is on them, and has little to do with you now. You are a catalyst of sorts. It’s hard not to take that personally, I know that, but it can be liberating once you get past the initial face palm if it’s negativity toward you, or someone you care about.

Perhaps that’s the answer to the beginning of this post: perhaps the ugliness and rudeness we see online from others in the business is the simple self-reflection of their lack of permission to do their work. And what can you do? Give them permission to take their lack of awareness back, and mirror it elsewhere.

We don’t all have to agree. We can find respect, earn trust and agree to disagree if we have integrity and character.

If someone doesn’t want to do the work, let them take it elsewhere. The rest of us have work to do!

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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