The other night, I was staying up later than usual and happened to catch Jimmy Fallon's Late night where he features up and coming performers. On this night, Fallon introduced A musical group called the Paper Tongues who performed, "Ride to California", something between rap, rock and hip-hop...a little out of my Baby boomer league. But before I could hit the remote for another channel, I was blown away by their performance, their unbridled energy. I couldn't really understand the lyrics, but the beat was amazing and oh, that energy! The lead singer was positively frenetic in his performance, but his band was equally energized which gave their performance a synergistic effect that was must-see TV for at least 2.5 minutes.
Afterwards, I sat on my couch, mesmerized but at the same time, asking myself, where did they get that amazing energy? Why don't I see this energy more often?
I feel I have somewhat of a license to discuss this topic due to it being my trademark as a teacher. My evaluations always included energetic, enthusiastic, high energy level teaching. My mantra as an teacher meant that if I wasn't enthusiastic about the subject matter, how could I expect students to be at all interested?
So to the big picture question: What has happened to America's energy level? No, I am not talking about the oil spill from the Deep Horizon off shore tragedy. There appears to be an energy-drain that has hit our nation. a collective tired, lethargic mood.
So who would I select as examples of energy in motion? Let's start with the likes of Lucille Ball. In the I Love Lucy series, Ball was a constant bundle of energy as Lucy Ricardo. Elvis Presley had that sexual energy that wasn't an add-on, or an "I'm bringin' sexy back". It was part of the Presley package, unmistakable, undeniable, and unforgettable! Sammy Davis, Jr. was energy personified.
Today's examples seems to have hit the potholes of negativity which is a surefire energy-extinguisher. Tiger Woods had it on the golf course but events beyond the ropes have sucked that natural energy right out of him. President Barack Obama has great energy as a candidate. Who can forget that easy jog to the podium, the rollin' up of shirt sleeves, and the energy of conviction, or as the late Senator Teddy Kennedy would have said, the vigah (ok vigor for the rest of us? As President, Mr. Obama seems to have lost that edge. Even Sarah Palin emotes enthusiasm, but tack on her "gotcha" attitude and the enthusiasm downgrades to a mean spirited rant of those who dare disagree with her.
So, how do we find our collective soul?...Oh,no, that's another musical group! But maybe soul has something to do with our search. Is our energy a wonderful bi-product of our passion, our soul?
Can we recapture that vitality, almost child-like , and transform it into an energy that fuels our daily lives, our relationships and our pursuit of happiness even when life-challenging obstacles stand in the way? Dog-gone-it! Let's just do it...just like Paper Tongues did on Jimmy Fallon's late night show. It could happen!
P.S. Thanks to Paper Tongues and Jimmy Fallon for renewing my faith in the ENERGY Within!