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The Taste of Music

The Taste of Music

Hello and good day!

Yesterday, a mom came into our shop with her three kids. She had a little 2 year old boy, a 7 year old daughter, and a 12 year old son.The little boy was a bundle of energy. He immediately started running around and dancing and making a scene.

I loved it. I love that kind of energy in the shop. The daughter was as sweet as can be. She had a toothless smile and she kept begging her mom for just one more sample. The mom kept pretending to resist, but immediately relented every single time.

Thethere was the older boy. He was so serious. He had an earring in each year.He rejected all samples and free offerings. He just sat on a bench in the corner staring sternly at at was going on. Given the grimace on his face, he did not appear to approve of the situation.

I love when a moody kid like this comes around. Because I know I can make them crack a smile, and maybe even laugh, against their will. Whatever is going on in this kid's life has made him hard. He doesn't smile much, that is obvious.

But he needs to smile. Because at age 12, he is still a kid. He shouldn't have to lose his innocence so early and feel like the weight of the world is on his shoulders. So I walked up to him and asked him if he liked the music we had on.

We always have some kind of Spanish language music turned up on the speaker in our store. It really is like a dance party in there sometimes.


Anyhow, when I asked the kid this question, we had some amazing salsa music jamming on the radio. He said that no, he did not like the music at all. I put on an exaggerated sad face. He almost cracked a smile right then and there at the sad face, but he regrouped and got himself under control.

I asked him what kind of music he preferred. He perked up a bit before answering, which was interesting to me. Music appeared to be something he was proud of and passionate about, because his body language changed when he answered. He announced proudly that he likes hip hop and house.

This is a typical young person answer. I also liked hip hop and house when I was 12 years old. I still like hip hop. Although, I prefer a headier version than when I was kid. When I was a kid, it was more about the beat and how catchy the hook was.  

Now, I am much more interested in the quality of the poetry and what the person is trying to say. But at this point in my life, I vastly, vastly prefer salsa music to hip hop.

Here's why.

I love how many people are on stage during a live salsa concert. There are usually at least 20 people playing together. You have several people on percussion. Several musicians playing horns. A piano player. Several people playing stringed instruments. A few singers. And usually, just for good measure, you've got a couple of extra folks on stage dancing around.

I like the energy and the spectacle of a live show, and I like the richness of the music when you have that many people playing together. To each their own though, I hold nothing against this kid for his tastes.

But the matter of making him crack a smile was still at hand. So I told him that I liked salsa music because it was so good to dance to.I broke into a little salsa step.He wanted to laugh but he held strong.


Then I said maybe he preferred hip hop dancing and I broke into a hip hop step. He was getting closer now.  By the way, there were people in the store, but I totally lost track of time for a moment, I was so focused on getting this kid to laugh.

Or maybe you like how they dance at a rave! I broke into rave style dancing. He was smiling now, he had lost control. I wanted to break him completely though. I wanted a belly laugh.

So I said, none of that is for me. I like salsa. I broke back into a ferocious salsa step. By the way, I am 6'4" tall and not the best dancer. To see me doing a ferocious salsa step is the silliest thing in the world.It does not look very good. But to heck with it!

I got back into it and I was looking this kid right in the eyes. He couldn't take it any more, he broke down and started cracking up.I wiped the sweat off my brow and shook his hand.I told him that he is a good kid and that he should check out a salsa concert on youtube. I told him he'd like it and it would be good to expand his horizons, just to know what is out there.

I was a serious, brooding kid myself from time to time.But you can't be serious and brooding when you are laughing. And I think that one of the best ways to get a young kid like that into a different frame of mind is to expand their horizons if you can.Let them know that the world is a big place filled with so much variety.

If you are unhappy with how things are going, do something else.The world is HUGE and people are so diverse. There are so many opportunities available. Wonder and laughter are a great antidote to sadness and anger.

The kid shook my hand on the way out and said that he'd be back soon. I'll be waiting for him and I am going to do my best to get him to laugh again.

 I hope that you have a truly blessed day!


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