Music Monday: What Are You For?

Over the next ten months leading up to the presidential election, many of us will hear, see, and experience the exact same things but assign them vastly different meanings, come to different conclusions, and craft and tell a different story about them… to ourselves and others. Many will talk about what they dislike or even hate. They will tell and retell the story, focused on what they worry about, things they dread, and what they don’t want to happen. Most of all, they rail about what they’re against. But what are they “for?”

It’s the flipside of the same coin. It’s the yin to the yang. As my son used to say when he was little, “It’s exactly the same. Just different.” But this reframe can make all the difference.

This week, for our Music Monday (always the first Monday of the month), I’ve chosen “What I’m For” by Pat Green, a favored Texas son. His lyric, “You don’t have to guess what I’m against, if you know what I’m for” exemplifies the idea that we can have a more positive effect, tell a more hopeful story, and place our focus on powerful ideas instead of powerless complaints when we frame our comments in terms of what we want, what we champion, and what we’re “for.”

Use this concept in your workplace to discuss how you can reframe your complaints into requests, your frustrations into hope, and a pessimistic viewpoint into a positive one. Speak more about what you’re for and what you want, and others will automatically know what you’re against.

And, I agree with Pat Green. I’m for Texas margaritas and getting outta debt, and for having faith in something that hasn’t happened yet, for counting all my blessings when the wolf is at my door… You don’t have to guess what I’m against, if you know what I’m for.

Pat Green:  What I’m For

“I’m for wildflowers in the window,
Mechanics you can trust.
I’m for crackers in my chili
And leavin’ grudges in the dust.

I’m for drive thru order takers
Who can muster up a smile.
I’m for takin’ in that stray dog
That’s been hangin’ ’round awhile.

I’m for turning off the TV,
Gettin’ off the internet.
I’m for learning all the words
To the Gettysburg Address.

I’m for dusty pawn shop guitars
And boxers passed their prime.
I’m for soakin’ up the wisdom
When an old man speaks his mind.

I’m for laid off factory workers
When the wolf is at the door.
You don’t have to guess what I’m against
If you know what I’m for.

I’m for Texas Margaritas,
Gettin’ outta debt.
I’m for havin’ faith in something
That hasn’t happened yet.

For the shy kid in the corner,
Afraid to ask the girl to dance;
For the ex-con outta prison
Who just wants a second chance.

For the inner city teacher
With her heart stuck in her throat;
Can still see God in every child
And never gives up hope.

I’m for dusty pawn shop guitars
And boxers passed their prime.
I’m for soakin’ up the wisdom
When my old man speaks his mind.

I’m for Detroit factory workers
When the wolf is at the door.
You don’t have to guess what I’m against
If you know what I’m for.

I’m counting all my blessings
When the wolf is at my door.
You don’t have to ask what I’m against,
You don’t have to guess what I’m against,
You know what I’m for.”