Love Needs YOU! An interview with Michael Franti
By Gina Murdock
Election cycles tend to bring out the worst in people. It reminds me a big sporting match and the “us” vs. “them” is perpetuated and played up by the media to the extent that many of us forget WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM! It’s not just Team America, though I love and respect that team, it’s TEAM PLANET. We are ALL in this together. The earth that supports us is one earth, the air that we breath and the water that we all drink to survive – try living without water for one day – comes from the same place. Our hearts and our spirits, in my belief, come from the exact same place. Our minds, well, that’s another story. Our minds tell us over and over we are different. We may look different, speak different languages and believe many different things about the origin of life, what happens after death, if we should watch out for each other or not, what’s = good and what = bad, or right wrong, etc. But, the truth is, even with all these different beliefs we are interdependent, we are more same than not, and we are Stronger Together.
I was struck recently by a video that my friend and musician Michael Franti put out regarding the election and what he felt was happening with our human tribe. It’s powerful. You can watch it here
The message is “Love needs you.” I couldn’t agree more.
Michael has always been an inspiration to me. A friend once said, “If only life could be like a Michael Franti concert we’d all feel so happy and free.” That’s the truth. Here’s a little bit more about what makes this humanitarian, rockstar tick.
Gina Murdock - What's your life manifesto or life mission statement?
Michael Franti - I make music because I believe that everyone on the planet deserves to be happy, healthy and equal. In our home we have a saying that goes "Be your best. Serve the greater good and rock out wherever you are."
GM - Your recent video contains a message about hope & love, what inspired you to share that message right now?
MF - This election has had me on an emotional roller coaster and most of the people who I meet on tour have been telling me how frustrated and sad they've been that the politics of fear and prejudice have taken center stage. I wanted people to hear that love, equality, justice, human dignity, humanity all still matter and that they are worth standing up for. That we should all take love with us when we go to the ballot box and stay engaged year round beyond election day.
GM - What are you most inspired or excited about for the future?
MF - I'm inspired by seeing more people than ever waking up to the fact that our system needs changing. The question is will the change be based on the fear and bullying of others, or will it be about building a more equal, and environmentally focused way of being. I'm happy to hear people on the left and right speaking about the need for campaign finance reform, which I believe is key.
GM - What makes you feel scared or sad or depleted & what do you do about it?
MF - I am scared that if Trump wins it will signal to our country and people around the world that the politics of bullying and stoking the fires of fear ae the new norm and that it will win elections. I don't mind talking about or hearing policy arguments, but the politics of racial, religious and gender division are taking us backwards.
GM - I always feel SO inspired & uplifted when I leave one of your concerts. If you could name that special thing you do, what would you call it?
MF - I love to bring people together at our shows to sing, dance, celebrate life together. I love seeing people walk out feeling inspired and uplifted for whatever is coming next in their life. Music is magic, not just my music, all music. When our mind is tired and body run down music helps us to release emotions and access the part of our soul that says, "you can go a little bit further, try a little harder, love a little more deeply. We all need that.
GM - Where does your inspiration come from to tour & post & share so frequently about love, hope, equality, connection, resilience & the importance of 'being the change?' I know a lot of people are paralyzed by wanting to do something to make the world a better place, but don't know where to start. What encouragement can you give them?
MF - I believe the great battle taking place in the world today is not between left and right, black and white, or rich and poor. No, the great battle in the world today is between optimism and hopelessness. There are millions of reasons to give up on the world, on trying to make a difference, so many reasons to give up hope. I'm asking people not to give up hope. Inviting love back into the conversation is key. We can't sustain a movement for equality, justice, prosperity for all and planet health without love. There needs to be a deep caring for the betterment of all Americans and citizens of the world at the core of every conversation we have if we want to create a world with less poverty and violence. I keep my eyes open to the ills of the world, but I believe the power of optimism, imagination and tenacity are key to making every person on the planet closer to the goal of being happy, healthy and equal.
To learn more about Michael Franti, check out go see a SHOW or follow him on Social media @michaelfranti on Twitter and Instagram and Michael Franti and Spearhead on Facebook.
To learn more about Gina Murdock, check out Aspen Yoga Society (@ayogasociety Twitter, @seva.yogi Instagram) and Aspen City of Wellbeing (@AspenWellbeing Twitter, @aspencityofwellbeing Instagram) and commit today to “Be The Change!”
And, don’t forget to VOTE!