SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 166: “I Want To Bang On The Drum All Day”

The volume is deafening, but there is no pain of hearing. Pulsating rhythm pounds the atmosphere and the energy of the scene is infectious.

Gathered is an eclectic community of CEO’s, artists, blue-collar, white-collar, doctors, parents, teens, kids, sick, poor, healthy, rich, disabled, lost and found. All engaged in one united purpose, to escape their analytical selves.

Time has stopped and I find myself part in an experience that is nothing short of supernatural; an immense gathering of diversity, talents and life experience all bound in expressing the gift of music, and all void of any political banter, religious pronouncements or any kind of class distinction.

There is no judgment, insecurity or comparison present, and in the words of Remo Belli, host of the drum circle I find myself, and my family, participating in, “A collection of artistic talent demonstrating the unlimited possibilities in all to be able to express ourselves in ways other than the spoken word.”

Driving us is Arthur, his compassion and rhythmic talent is glorious. One can’t help to be drawn in by his vitality. They call him a facilitator, but I view him as a magician of humanity. In a remarkable way, he has captured us all, and he, in combination to our release of internal-self, has directed us towards a union that is absolutely inescapable – Magical!

Arthur is brilliant, yet with the responsibility of his commitment to our conclave of harmonious individuality, I am not able to interview him, but to not mention his contribution to the evening would be a great disservice.

He must be given tribute as a confirmer of the 365 message regarding the power of one. I’m honored to be in the presence of Arthur in witnessing first hand the ability of one in connecting humanity. And to his credit, as well as for our edification, Arthur proves that we all have talents hidden within.

I’m not talking of musical skills; I’m talking of overcoming the obstacle of outlook. Sure he is a trained musician of powerful ability, but in todays drum circle, we all have pushed ourselves to discover a deeper conscientious. One that has freed us all to look at one another with open eyes, looking beyond the influences of external impression, and for this purpose he travels the world in bringing people together through the gift of rhythm.

Yet Arthur is one in the company, meet John, another facilitator who is participating in the evening’s magic. John is not the lead of the circle and takes time to speak with us.

“Do your best to live in the present,” John advises.

An attitude that perhaps many of us prescribe to, yet John spins it in a particularly interesting way by not pointing it toward himself, “I’d like to see a place where people overcome the empathy barrier, and a world that is focused on living more like a community.”

In expanding on this idea, John gives us a proposed method to its fulfillment, “Trust in God, but teach your camel first. Meaning listen to yourself and be courageous enough to trust and to listen, but also keep a healthy balance of skepticism.”

And to do so, John imparts a life tip to us, “Respect your intuition as to who people are, and once you receive it, act on it.”

John radiates acceptance, something that I personally experienced trough his humor and desire to uplift others. A point that shows itself when upon inviting him contribute to 365 he says, “Yeh, I’ll do it, but first you go play the drums for a while, I’m here until the end. Go have time with your family, we can talk later.”

John is a “what can I do to make your life better?” kind of guy, and in his seemingly small gesture, he looked beyond himself, and unknowingly blessed my family with a much needed unforgettable memory. (John, much appreciated, my friend).

All around the Remo facility are affirmations to unity, Celebrate Family on the East wall, Art Beat for Humanity of the South wall, and the flags of the world fly everywhere overhead.

Sure, Remo is in the business of selling drums, has an overhead and I’m certain is aware enough to respect the P&L’s, but signs tell me that this is a company built on values, rather than profit alone.

And as a result, Remo is positioned as a leading brand in a very competitive industry. Makes one think twice about the culture of industry.

The night is not over and I get the opportunity to meet another Remo friend, manager Mike.

The drum circle has concluded, and time is short, with Mike needing to answer questions from the many others who are attending the event. Still he finds time to graciously speak with us.

“I’d like to see us all grow up to an acceptance of diversity,” Mike starts.

Are you beginning to see a theme…? I am.

Remo Belli talks of the unlimited possibilities in all of us to be able to express ourselves in ways other than the spoken word.

A wonderful statement that so supports Johns point of overcoming the empathy barrier and in carving a path to the future he dream of, a world focused on living more like a community.

Mike anchors his opening comment with realistic words of maturity, “I’d also like to see healthy conflict. We can’t avoid it, but we can learn to work it out,” council that we are hearing for the first time.

We’ve talked often of dreams, positive outlooks, dropping judgment and of acceptance, but we have not addressed conflict, although we have touched on it through a few of our dialogues with a several of our 365 friends.

But Mike lays it out as it is (thanks for bringing this to our attention).

We talk of resolve and of commitment to follow through on situations that many would turn their backs to. The point, if it is worth discussing, don’t let it drop. If we do, we may be loosing out on the opportunity for personal growth, or better yet, strengthening a relationship by working out core issues. Too many of us view conflict as something to completely avoid, something that is impossible to do.

And in Mike’s concept of “healthy conflict,” he empowers us with the permission to work it out.

This has been an enlightening day, in life, in business and in 365. Upon my arrival to Remo this evening I was fatigued, and thanks to all in attendance, I pleased to say, “I leave uplifted.”

We really are in this thing together. There must have been over one hundred in the drum circle tonight. I don’t know all of their stories, but one thing I know is absolute, we are all heading home united.

And if the experience of living can be compared to the unity absorbed this evening, then I can only state one thing,I want to bang on the drum all day.”