In the end, nothing else matters, turn the page and dream on, so said the rock and metal gods. This, to me, seems the most profound way of living and being. In a world that can't stop treading all over you, what's your best defense? To scream, to argue, to fight back, or to let go? What do you do? How do you deal with the pricks? How do you deal with an injustice?
It is so easy to get mired in anger, and get all bitter and waste hours and days being stuck in that morass of analyzing everything and getting more mad. Emotions run wild, and thoughts spiral out of control. Truly, whose loss is it? The perpetrator is simply chilling out after having done - the wrong and the unkind - deed. The person at the receiving end, however, reels and suffers.
Here's where I feel the creed of Metallica and Aerosmith can help - a metal solution for mental agony. I will specifically talk about Metallica. Since I read a book about them, I can be a bit more credible about what I am saying. Metallica has survived because of their never say die attitude of its founders - Lars and James. Literally, they kept going in the face of insurmountable problems, including the death of their bandmate - Cliff Burton. Cliff was 23 when he was tragically killed. His tale is so heartbreakingly poignant. A talented, iconic, idealistic young man - on his way to the hall of fame and glory, he met the grim reaper all too soon and for no good reason.
He had the soul of an artist and the insights of a sage. He didn't care about anything but the integrity and purity of the music he created. And he lived his life by that principle, that singular pursuit of his calling. Sure, he was part of a community that consumed drugs and possessed cult like creativity, but he lived free and wild. Here's a couple of my favorite quotes from him -
When a man lies, he murders some part of the world. These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives. All this I cannot bear to witness any longer. Cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home.
Just keep going like crazy and look back when it's over. Otherwise you just get confused.
While Metallica were on tour, one night, Lars and Cliff swapped their beds on the tour bus. That was also the night when the driver lost control, the bus skidded off the road, and toppled over, Cliff was hurled out of the window, and his body was crushed underneath the bus. He was the only casualty of this gruesome, unforeseen, freak accident. It was unfortunate and meaningless. It becomes even more surreal when you consider the fact that Cliff traded places with Lars on the night of tragedy and if he hadn't, Lars would have been dead and Cliff would be alive. Considering this twist of fate, it was uncannily wise and clairvoyant of him to cite the following statement -
Personally, I would say the 'master' of this whole thing is fate... Whoever is on the playing field is fair game, and it's up to them to avoid being used.
To summarize, I quoted the following songs in the opening line of this post.
In the end by Linkin Park
Nothing else matters by Metallica
Turn the Page by Metallica
Dream on by Aerosmith
I had an incredibly bad and stressful day, and I kept replaying the events and the words throughout rest of the day and night and caused myself a world of agony and misery. I could have very well used this time to read wonderful books, and think of great, cool ideas, or to daydream, but I didnt. At the end of it, I realized the only way to surpass and beat an injustice is to understand that none of the crap that’s happening to you matters, just carry on with your dreams and your calling because that's the best way to deal with crap. So, my motto is to ask myself - Is this how Cliff would act?
What do you think is the best way to deal with an injustice? And, how do you prevent yourself from getting caught up in the endless frenzy of anger and spite? How do you know when you are overreacting, and when to stop?