Be Who You Say You Are

The musical group is a tribute band for a popular country singer. The lead vocalist wore a cap with an American flag on it and called out Veterans several times to thank them for their service. The star that the group emulates is known for his conservative values. The owner of the venue started off the evening of music by leading the national anthem after a moving introduction. From best I could tell, not a single member of the group sang the anthem or even mouthed it as the audience joined the leader; my wife and I had good seats in a small venue so it would have been easy to tell if any band members’ lips were moving.

I was suspicious of them from then on. As they sang songs of courage, independence, faith, and good times, I felt they were parrots, not tribute performers, repeating words that they didn’t believe. Such is entertainment, but the dissonance disturbed me. There is plenty of cause for dissonance in daily life.

There should be no disconnect between what we say and how we act in whatever role we’re in. A popular quote attributed to Emerson states “What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.” The expression is so popular because it resonates with people. Though researchers say Emerson did not say or write that specific quote, it has been cited often, including by President Kennedy in his inaugural address. It says what many wish was said.

Our words and actions should align; we should act out the values we espouse and articulate; what we say and how we act should resonate. What was illustrated in entertainment applies to all aspects of life in all roles we play.

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