LET IN LIGHT AND BANISH SHADE
For those of you who have been enjoying the 80’s flavor to our blog, I think you’ll especially appreciate this latest installment. I’ve decided to hold off on the engagement content I was originally planning for this post in order to address something that has been personally troublesome to me this holiday season. I’ve noticed more and more lost perspectives, more and more frustrated associates, and more nit-picking of minor things rather than folks simply rolling with it. I thought this was the perfect opportunity for a friendly reminder – we are beyond blessed. And that’s all of us. It applies to absolutely every single one of us reading this blog, without exception.
Do you remember the release of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Bob Geldof? I remember being so excited for this song because of all the amazing artists that it featured. But I also remember how it caused me to stop thinking about the stresses in my life, even as a teenager, such as school, finals and boy troubles, to realize just how lucky I was. During this incredibly hectic time when we have a million things to do and a multitude of stresses to overcome, we can remind ourselves that many of our anxieties tie back to “first world problems”. I am hoping this will be a wonderful way for you to re-center.
Hearing “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” again recently during a rock block of Christmas songs on the radio, I was moved to indulge my nostalgia and looked deeper into its history. I was inspired to learn that Geldof didn’t have a penny to his name when he saw the documentary on famine in Ethiopia and knew he had to help. Ultimately, his efforts produced an iconic record that’s still being played 30 years later and will likely be played for another 30 more. He raised millions for a cause when he hadn’t a penny – and donated it all. He did it under seemingly impossible circumstances but didn’t waiver in his conviction. And in the process he helped transform the lives of those who were truly suffering from the famine crisis. I absolutely hate to sound preachy, so please forgive me if I do. But chances are that thing you are upset about – the person who was late to your appointment (curse them), the person who cut you off in traffic (double curse them), the capers that came on your pasta when you ordered it without them (you’ll never eat there again!) – isn’t a monumental crisis but merely an inconvenience.
I want to share some insight I found that explains even further why this record was so transformative and how dozens of massive egos could get together in the same room, put aside their differences, and create something that had a tremendous impact on our world. I hope it inspires you the way it did me and helps you to remember that this is truly the season of good will.
Please enjoy and remember to raise a glass for everyone this weekend.
“When Bob Geldof recruited some of the biggest names in pop music from the U.K. and Ireland in 1984, all he really wanted to do was record a charity single to raise money and awareness for the devastating Ethiopian famine. He not only did that, but he also helped prove that music can, in fact, change the world and paved the way for other charity efforts from musicians.
Geldof was given no more than 24 hours to record and mix “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” at the SARM Studios in the Notting Hill district of London. Considering the logistics of getting all of those names in one room (which included Sting, Bono, Phil Collins, Duran Duran, George Michael and Boy George, to name a few), it’s amazing the single was released in the U.K. four days later on November 29, 1984. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” shot straight to number one selling an astounding one million copies in the first week of release. The single would go on to raise over $24 million.
Band Aid opened the doors to countless other charity singles (most notably USA for Africa’s “We Are The World”) and also led to the Live Aid concert, which took place on July 13, 1985, and helped raise $125 million.”