Jesse Leach’s Check Your Head: Changin’ Times

Check Your Head with Jesse Leach

Ever wake up in the middle of the night wondering how you were going to pay your bills, make ends meet or pay your rent or mortgage? Ever wake up and wonder how you got where you are in life? How about waking up and thinking you would be taken up to heaven, then realizing it was just another day here on Earth.

Well I can relate to the first half of my questions, but the latter half — as many of you know — was all over the news, Internet, etc.: The Rapture (as some people believe in, depending on your interpretation of the Bible) that was “supposed” to happen on May 21, 2011, came and went just like any other day.

It is mind-blowing to me what it must be like to sell all of your belongings, leave your job and career, empty your life savings, leave your spouse and put all of your energy into believing this man who deceived so many.

People did just that, and now what? How about that guy, Harold Camping, who made a reported $100 million off of the people he deceived? Does he sleep well at night knowing he potentially ruined peoples lives, and is living in the lap of luxury due to his lies? It is beyond me and, in truth, saddens me greatly not just because of the victims of this scandal but also, it is another reason for the media to exploit people of faith. Not to mention this lunatic Harold Camping to use the “word of God” to make money

We live in increasingly desperate times. Times have indeed changed from even five, 10 years ago. It is easy to ignore the looming desperation if you are living in a fairly “comfortable” life or are just simply ignoring the signs, but they are there.

Depending on your view point we have a high unemployment rate; gas prices at an all-time high; pop music is getting stupider (yes, this does play a role in society’s decline); government using increasingly deceptive covert means to manipulate and or lull people; violent entertainment on the rise. So what do we do you ask? I do not have the answers my friends. All I can say is be aware of the world around you. Appreciate what you have and take nothing for granted. I am certain there are those of you who may be reading this and thinking: who cares? Well this column is not for you then, you can go back to your false sense of safe and “bliss” and look out for #1 — that being you. For the rest of you with insight and compassion, my point is, times are changing and we must change with them. 

There are so many ways to obtain information these days. Staying connected to what is going on in the world is crucial, but all the while, maintaining a safe enough distance from hysteria as to not be sucked into the “hype.”

I have my fingers on the pulse of what some consider to be “conspiracy theorists” or “tin foil hat” people, and I am paying attention to the controlled mainstream media. I strive to be careful not to buy completely into either, but rather form my own opinion based on a balance of information. Let’s be honest — there are some issues we never know “the truth” about, so why beat yourself up over not knowing and do your best to move on and live a somewhat happy life, right?

Yes but…that whole ignorance is bliss — it is an increasingly dangerous way of thinking. Realize the power of knowledge and doing a bit of research before buying into an idea or cause. Look at those people who bought into the rapture happening on the 21st. Perhaps they should have spent some time researching their Bibles and gathering information on the man that was the deliverer of the message (who mind you said the same thing in 1994!)

Aside from religion, speaking as an American here, I for one question every headline I read and take nothing at its face value. Some people see that as being a “paranoid whack job” but yet others see that as being a “patriot.” I don’t really think I am either but rather a fairly rational human being that wants to stay informed. So what about you, what do you think? I am sure it varies depending on where you come from, how you were raised, your level of nihilism vs. compassion, etc. 

As of late I have had the privilege to not have to work a “regular” job over the past few weeks as I prepare to yet again go on tour with one of my bands. I am very, very aware of how blessed I am (and understand it may not last long), so I have been doing what I always used to daydream about at my desk when I did have a “regular” job. I have immersed myself in the outside world whether it be hiking or doing trails out in nature…getting quiet time to think, but more frequently I have been going in to the depths of New York City and observing people.

I will walk miles of downtown and go into different neighborhoods, sit on a park bench or at an outside cafe and listen, observe and occasionally interact. I see countless homeless and starving people, drug addicts, runaway gutter punks, artists in the Lower East Side, city workers all over cleaning up after the general population, students living care free off of trust funds. I see the elite and super rich on Madison Avenue shopping while their nannies take care of and raise their children. It is a crazy, messed-up world that doesn’t always make sense but there is always beauty!

There is always hope that we can make a difference no matter how small it may seem. Sometimes, the simple act of saying hello or smiling at someone may mean a great deal to them and to you, a simple gesture. Giving a homeless beggar half of your sandwich or even your leftovers. I have watched as a woman sat down next to a man, asked him about his life, took him into a grocery store, bought him food and then simply said “God bless you” and walked away…amazing! What power we have to effect and change things for the better!

On a side note, my poetry and photos of these observations and others can be found here.

So In closing, I want to ask, if today were your last day on Earth, what would you do different than what you are doing now? (I am sure there are some reading that are thinking very different and extreme acts, HA HA, and I get it). What I mean to conclude with saying is, life is fleeting and precious. Tomorrow is not promised to you or someone you love. What if you loose someone you love today? Did you say all you wanted to say? Come clean about something and clear your consciousness? Tell them you love them? How about you personally? Are you striving for your dreams? Being a good parent? Child? Brother? Sister? Spouse? Are you living an honest life? (Why not?) Are you happy? 

Life is short, good people, and it is filled with possibilities and situations we have a hard time grasping. In this life, it is “cause and effect.” How do you react, how do you effect those around you, your friends, family, your children? This column is not intended to do anything, except make you think…and perhaps give perspective on a situation you may be dealing with, or just simply to allow you to step back and see a much bigger picture of the world around you and this fleeting life.

It’s kind of like when you see a movie or read a passage in a book and find yourself in a moment that you will never forget and it changes you, makes you feel more alive for better or worse! The only thing constant is change, so allow our changin’ times to change you for the better. 
Thanks for reading.
One Love everyone — see you on tour!

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