Some people like you. Some people don’t.
Then there’s everyone else.
Some people like your personality, the way you make them feel when you’re around them. Some people just get you - you gel with certain individuals either immediately or over the time needed to establish trust. You feel comfortable around them - you don’t measure every word or behavior, you express yourself in an environment that is perpetually safe and accepting.
Some people don’t like the way you do certain things, or, possibly, the manner in which you generally carry or handle yourself. Then there are those who just plain don’t like, uh, YOU. They don’t like your looks, they don’t like your idiosyncrasies, and they personally find your presence, by and large, less than attractive. One young man once told me he didn’t like me because I looked like the guy his former girlfriend ended up marrying. For whatever preposterous reason someone dreams up, or simply decides to give, your stock has plummeted, no matter what you do or say.
Then there’s everyone else. Unknown to you. Faces in the crowd. Shadows. Phone book listings. Inconsequential exchanges. Random, typical, run-of-the-mill, Navin Johnsons. Drivers you flash your lights for to warn them of a stealth cop. Fellow riders on a hospital elevator for a floor or two. The nameless middle-aged lady who lets you use her bonus card at the grocery store. Youngsters who ride the roller coaster car in front of you at an amusement park. People who don’t currently figure into your life significantly, nor you, theirs.
This classic rock staple (I actually heard it today while cleaning my car), initiated by Rod Argent’s signature half-step Hammond trill, accentuates the virtue of moving forward with conviction regardless of the negative or indifferent aura that certain personalities throw off. An elementary cadence in D brings out that ponderous, kingly vibe - kind of a “make-way-for-me” attitude. Unison voices converge on the chorus to make this simple tune an anthem of inspiration for anyone who needs a lift. Just look at the second verse:
And if they stare
Just let them burn their eyes on your moving
And if they shout
Don’t let it change a thing that you’re doing
Hold your head up, hold your head up
Hold your head up, hold your head high
I think too many of us forego success and progress in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives because we’re so concerned about what other people think. We’re afraid of repercussions from those who don’t like us, believing that we can win them over if we just try hard enough not to rattle their cages anymore. We fear the nameless figures - they need to see us at our best before we reveal our real selves. Heck, we even let loved ones talk us out of the big time because we respect their opinions so much. After all, they’re “looking out for us” - we would do well to heed the caring, compassionate counsel of those closest to us.
Dr. Daniel Amen subscribes to the 18/40/60 Rule. He maintains that when you’re eighteen, you care about what everyone thinks of you. When you’re forty, you don’t care about what everyone thinks of you. But when you’re sixty, you realize that no one has been thinking of you at all! Most people have enough issues of their own to care a fig about yours. Gee, why not come to that conclusion now!
It’s time to obey The Voice. The Voice trumps that of the antagonist. The Samballats and Tobiahs that occasionally but invariably pop up on the scene. The Voice is superior to the capricious spouts of the arbitrary loudmouth - you know, those cyber-cowards who trash-talk behind a cleverly concocted email address. The Voice blows away the well-meaning, but dangerous calls for common sense, civility, and safety. Family and friends who don’t want to see you get hurt, look bad, or make a darn fool out of yourself.
The Voice is not necessarily one of reason. At least not humanly speaking. But it’s the right One to listen to. “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you [The Voice] will say, ‘This is the way you should go,‘ whether to the right or to the left.”
The prophet Isaiah knew his Master’s Voice. He marched to the cadence of the Ultimate Drum Major. Good thing. His words make a lot of sense 2500 years after he wrote them down.
If you’ve heard The Voice, march on. Let His cadence thunder in your heart and in your spirit. Hold your head up and high. You’ve got nothing to lose but a little pride and a little fear. Two things that are definitely worth losing.