New year, new way

champagne-1410297-mWe’re back!  After a much-needed break, the Team is officially back at work today, and I’d like to offer some thoughts for the new flip of the calendar… even if it’s a day late.

First, let’s skip the standard resolutions pep talk.  We’ve taken a good look at gratitude in our Thanksgiving post, and it’s quite true that every new year is a chance to start over, review your life and make a fresh start.  What we’d really like to skip are the ultra-breakable stock resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, save money and generally be more virtuous.  These goals may have a legitimate place in your life, but setting a goal that is more meaningful and reaches further beyond yourself is likely to be more attainable, whatever your overall aim for 2015.

The fact is, New Year’s is a simple ritual for a process that should be ongoing.  What the opening pop of the champagne (or Martinelli’s) can signify, any time of year, is the resolution to make a difference, whether it’s in your life, your community, or in the life of an individual.  Few things exemplify this as simply as the recent post to our Open Calls board, looking for volunteers to teach music for a special program in Compton that aims to reduce recidivism and make a seriously positive impact on underserved lives. There are other programs by wonderful organizations like Southland Sings* (with students at work, right), who create unique experiences that bring first-person artistry, hope and real change to at-risk youth in communities all over Southern California. Other organizations are finding their impact with outreach programs, innovative programming that invites new listeners to meaningful music, and pure fun that helps classical art music shed its stuffy stereotype.

Living and working in the arts isn’t just about making the world more beautiful.  We help make the world livable, and that higher purpose can guide us as we set goals and envision every new year, new month, new whatever.  Remember that you have the power to make a difference, with every lesson, every rehearsal, every performance, and every new project.  And remember that we’re rooting for you all, all the way.  It’s what the Listerhood is really about:  just think what we can do together.

Here’s a little holiday gift — the first of many, as it’s the first of our new Quote of the Week series.  Feel free to download, link to and share this image, and spread the word far and wide…

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Happy New Year, everyone!


*Disclosure: Southland Sings is a PR client of Lauri’s List.  But we’d be impressed with them anyway!

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