My husband and I were lucky enough to get free tickets to see Boyz II Men in Salt Lake City last week. Like any child of the 80’s I know countless Boyz II Men songs, and I, like Stephanie Tanner, had a choreographed dance routine to “Motown Philly.” But I mean, who didn’t?
And even though I love them, my reaction to the free tickets was probably similar to many of yours when you saw that this concert took place last week, “Boyz II Men is still touring?” When I posted a picture of myself right before the concert on Instagram, I got more than a couple, “What year is this?” type of comments. And that was pretty much my attitude too. I was excited for a reason to dress up and buy some hoop earrings, but that was about it.
So needless to say, I wasn’t really expecting the concert to be a life-altering event. But after the opening acts, the roadies set three stools on the empty stage. And I started to get really giddy.
Then the Boyz played a reel of their accomplishments, listing the records their songs broke and how successful their albums were, and the crowd LOST IT. These guys are LEGENDS, and they are only 40.
But even more impressive than their body of work was their commitment to putting on a good show. I sincerely expected the Boyz to kind of half-heartedly get up and perform their old hits. You know, phone it in — collect their check and leave. This was SO not the case.
And sometime between their perfectly choreographed moves to “The End of the Road” and their handing out long-stemmed roses during “I’ll Make Love to You,” I started to get pretty emotional.
Nathan, Shawn, and Wanya were living their bliss and in the process uplifting over 2,500 people. They could have easily let pride, or snarky comments about reliving their glory days stop them. But instead, they decided to own their amazing accomplishments and let others be elevated by their talents and obvious joy in sharing them.
Who cares if they haven’t had any recent hits or albums? Why wasn’t their existing, insanely successful body of work enough to impress me at first?
For the same reason I overlook goals I have accomplished, or downplay great things I have done: because it’s easier to focus on more, MORE, MORE, instead of appreciating and reveling in what is in front of us.
So often I let pride, or my perfectionism keep me from going after the things that will make me happy and successful, or if I have put myself out there, and accomplished something worth writing home about, I’m too caught up in the pressure I put on myself to do something better, to even enjoy it.
I’m not saying we should all sit around reliving the glory days of high-school, or anything like that, but I think on the other hand there is SUCH an aversion to being the deflated prom queen of yesteryear, that we too easily gloss over accomplishments so that other people won’t judge us.
Sometimes I feel silly that my talents and gifts are what they are. Like when I say, “I’m good, at, um crafts?” Or, “Yes, I write a blog.” Often what I do doesn’t seem that important or substantial in the long run. But what the Boyz II Men concert reminded me is that people are always gonna have something snide to say, and you can always find a reason to talk yourself out of a good thing. But when you embrace your gifts, talents, and life whole-heartedly, and you aren’t too proud or self-conscious to share them, you will bring yourself and others unimaginable joy.
At the end of the concert, I would say every person in that room was happier, less stressed, and filled with a little more patience and love. And needless to say, ready to get down. So thank you Boyz II Men for the reminder, the life lesson, and the totally epic dance party. I promise to try and pay it forward.