How Music makes me a better person

I got a stern warning before i came to the United States, “Please don’t waste your time listening to music all the time.” Clearly my family felt like my love for popular music kind of came off as something that had taken over my life and changed me. But music was always in my life, all my most important memories come from or are defined by music of the time. It got me thinking about how in my culture the general perspective of people on pop culture is that its a childish distraction. That popular music and popular culture as a thing largely produced in the west is this cultural evil bent on watering down or completely destroying indigenous cultural forms.  I often found that this obsession I had with music definitely didn’t go well with my devout adventist parents and understandably so. Hip hop and its brash crudeness didn’t rub my African elders very well. To them Hip Hop and Rock N Roll where this conspiracy by the devil to take the minds and souls of the youth.  For me popular music as a communicator the values, ideas, ideals and realities of common people. Its an opportunity to know how people live, love and die. Often times popular music is a mirror a reflector that expresses who we are sort of the way old architecture like Pyramids, or the Eiffel tower reflect the times and values of the creators culture. In a sense this obsession with American movies, music film and books, actually created an eternal thirst for perspectives on how other people live in the world. i found myself listening to different genres, and styles of music apart from American music and films. To me the arts teaches people to be better empathy machines. It makes it easier to put oneself in another shoes.

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