I feel a need to confess that I love 1970’s rock bands. Not just any rock bands; I love ‘70s ‘prog rock’ bands. Styx, Toto, Rush, Kansas…these bands had the hutzpah to write sometimes ridiculously long, intricately-composed, celebrations of musical largesse. While clearly not for everyone, I can’t get enough of it. So when I discovered that Kansas was performing in Marion, Ohio last weekend, I had to be there. Fortunately, I had a birthday coming up and a wife who was willing to encourage my musical eccentricities.
While Carie was willing to get me two tickets to Kansas, she made it very clear that she would not be attending with me. It turns out that watching 60 year-old once larger than life rockers was not, and will not become, her thing. Fair enough. It was up to me to find a date for the show. After a fairly clumsy process, I was able to recruit my 9 year-old daughter, Nora. She’d become familiar with some of Kansas’ songs and was pretty excited to join her old man for a trip down memory lane that actually played out long before her dad was even on the scene. After all, Kansas’ first album was released in 1974, a year before dad was even born!
Boring you with concert details is not my aim here. Instead, a few key insights struck me that night, as Nora and I enjoyed Kansas’ classic songs like ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and ‘Dust In The Wind,’ as well as many less familiar and incredible creations. First, we skewed the audience demographics by a large amount. In fact, Nora made friends with a number of graying women who all asked her the same basic question, in roughly the same way, “Hey little lady, what did you think of the show?” It was as if they couldn’t believe she was there and wished her to enjoy it as much as they had. “It was really neat” she said. “I loved the lights.” Ah, the lights.
You see, as I was fixated on the drummer, secretly wishing he might develop a cramp, requiring them to ask from the stage, “Is there a drummer in the house? We’ll need you in order to go on with the show!” Nora was enamored by the light show occurring elsewhere. Repeatedly poking me and begging me to look at the beautiful light work being projected onto the crowd behind us, and on the ceiling high above us, she forced me to remember that she was likely having a very different experience than I was. She was seeing this event much differently than me. And that’s what helped make this evening so special. Nora’s unique perspective opened my eyes to so much more than I would have experienced if she hadn’t been there.
Sometimes I take for granted that my viewpoint is the right viewpoint, that what I see is what needs to be seen. The extra set of eyes of my beautiful and charming 9 year-old daughter became my eyes, expanding my vision and enhancing my experience. Sure, Kansas was amazing in every way, a true force in musical expression, but they were even better when I was forced to see them differently.
So it goes. We benefit from the wisdom, experience, and vantage point of those around us…if we’re open to seeing life through their eyes. Sometimes we have to be poked, prodded, and begged to turn around and take in a different perspective. When we do, we grow a little bit each time.
We aim to provide this in our planning process, helping you see things a bit differently. In fact, we benefit from the collective experiences of all those whom we serve. Each client and family expanding our vision for what’s possible in a successful retirement. Fewer lights than a rock concert, but you’ll be able to hear in the morning.
All the best,
Adam Cufr, RICP®