What I Learned From Scott Jones About Myself
3 Powerful Truths I Learned From His Story
Last night I had the privliage of attending the Spring concert for Shallaway http://www.shallaway.ca with my wife Jennifer. Shallaway is a Newfoundland and Labrador based youth choir. My 11 year old daughter Anna Lili is a member.
While the music was amazing, what captivated me most was the fact that Shallaway teamed up with a gentleman by the name of Scott Jones who leads an adult choir out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. They partnered up to make the concert an EXPERIENCE whereby every person in attendance walked out feeling humbled and inspired.
Scott was raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He had a passion for music. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music in 2008 from Mount Allison University. He taught and conducted music.
In October, 2013 Scott was attacked while walking down the street with a friend. He was stabbed and left paralyzed from the waist down. While lying in his hospital bed he began collaborating with friends and became determined to create positive change. He went on to lead the anti-homophobia/transphobia campaign “Don’t BE Afraid”. He is also the leader of the highly inspirational choir VOX: A Choir for Social Change.
It should also note that he has forgiven his attacker!
While sitting and listening to Scott speak, I found my mind fixated on what it must be like to be Scott. On one hand, I was sitting in my comfortable chair thinking about what it would be like to be stabbed by someone out of hatred. I felt my legs and wondered what it would be like to not be able to move them. Shivers ran up my spine; a huge sense of gratitude came over me. On the other hand, I saw someone who is a huge inspiration to the world. He is living his life on purpose. He is not afraid anymore. He is vulnerable on the outside. Is it his vulnerability that attracts the great things that have happened to him since the attack? I must admit that in some respects I was envious. He is 100% who he is and not worried one bit about self-perceived consequences (and the big word here is self-perceived).
What a way to live!!
Here are three very powerful truths Scott Jones can teach us all.
1. Shame Has More Power Over Us Than We Realize
Throughout our lives we experience enough criticism or social pressure to believe that we don’t measure up. We create a public image to deal with this pressure. If we can’t be worthy then at least our act will be worthy. As our act gets reinforced positively we begin to believe that the act is who we really are.
I don’t know about you but I have done this in a few areas in my life. Scott did it too.
2. Being Open Is Better
We are hearing the word ‘vulnerable’ more and more these days. I think it is because as a society we are screaming to be and do exactly who we are on the inside. We come from a generation where showing weakness is considered taboo. We are crying to be open and vulnerable. We want people to know who we really are.
I am trying my hardest to realize that I only have one life to live and that the facade I create over time in certain aspects of my life is not who I really am - the real me has so much more to give.
If we can do that imagine the freedom we will feel. Imagine how our lives would change for the better.
3. It Should Not Take a Sudden Life Event to Make Changes
For Scott, it took being stabbed by a hater and becoming paralyzed from the waist down to realize he could BE who he really was.
We should embrace this story and the stories of many others to inspire us to become more of who we really are.
Being who we really are on the inside is what we were meant to do. In reality the word vulnerability should not even be in our dictionary. If we treated each other with the respect and dignity we deserve there would not be a reason to be anything but who we really are. The reality I have come to learn is that I can have all the success in world by acting a certain way outside of who I really am. I may be able to fool people with this act. But I cannot fool myself.
Scott Jones reminds us that choosing ourselves is really the only thing to choose.