“We spent our energy getting angry instead of being kinder”
(Little Changes ~ Frank Turner, 2018)
There are numerous posts here about Frank Turner’s lyrics – in general or specific – and what quite a lot of those words mean to me. Even though I do listen to Frank’s music a lot – either as part of mixed playlists or playlist of my favourite songs of his – these days I usually don’t spend that much time pondering what his words means to me or why. I did all that when I first found his music – and wrote excessively about it – or when I wrote my album reviews or want to discuss new material like the latest album. These days I usually just enjoy singing (and moving) along to his music when I listen to it. But every once in a while there are these moments when some words not necessarily achieve new significance, but the meaning and impact I had already once ascribed to them, hit home with new force. Most recently the words I quote at the top of this post.
“Little Changes” is one of my favourite songs from the latest album, for various reasons as I’ve stated in my album review. There are quite a few lines in these lyrics I can very well relate to or find inspirational, because they are so spot on. I very well remember how, when I had heard the song for the first time, I was thinking I should take those words more to heart. Because even though I might not spend more time being angry than being kind (at least I hope I don’t), deep down I also knew that I spend too much time and definitely also energy with negative thinking. About myself (yes, unfortunately) but also about other people I encounter or circumstances I find myself in.
Back in May when I first heard that song and could so very well connect with these words, I was determined to do better. To try being more kind and to quell any angry reaction before it turns into a spiral of negative thinking which is always consuming so much mental energy. I have to confess though, that I didn’t really incorporate that way of thinking or reacting or more precise non-reacting into my mindset in these last couple of weeks; at least not in the meaningful way I had intended to. To be honest I had mostly forgotten about it. That doesn’t mean I went around being angry at the world. But I wasn’t the kindest person either; at least not in the way I on impulse reacted in thoughts or on an emotional level.
And then there was this moment on the 3-lane-motorway on Saturday afternoon, when a traffic jam (due to some accident further on) started around the exit I had to take. Quite a few folks decided to circumvent the traffic jam by exiting as well, which was fine by me, even though it meant traffic on the exit was moving slowly. Then all of a sudden a BMW from the outer left lane was cutting trough the other two lanes to squeeze onto the exit right before the barrier. Thanks to the slow moving traffic nothing happened and after a short moment a driver on the exit let the BMW cut in. I was about 10 cars behind and thus not even directly involved or affected in any way, but I was getting so angry for a moment, swearing loudly at that driver and so forth. But then I caught myself and asked myself: “WTF was that all about?” The car didn’t cut in in front of me and we were moving so slowly that it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. I also was in no hurry to get anywhere. I was on my way home from a shopping trip. I had all the time in the world, so why did I get so angry about that one driver? All of a sudden I remembered those words from “Little Changes” and I felt a bit ashamed for losing my shit over something so insignificant.
Another – I admit maybe just tiny and definitely quite random – “lightbulb moment” in my life brought to me by the one and only Frank Turner. Maybe I’ll keep those words closer to my heart in the future.
On a lighter note: It would have been over the top if “Little Changes” had actually been playing on my car stereo at that moment, right? Rest assured, it wasn’t. I very distinctly remember the stereo played a live version of a fast paced and thus energetic Toten Hosen song, which subconsciously possibly acted as a bit of fuel for the getting angry part of me. Maybe… ;-)