Life Lessons Learned at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2013.

Not only am I a life long learner, I am a 24/7 learner. My field is “life”, “families”, and other “communities” and I am always trying to learn and translate lessons from one venue to another. Sitting at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, eating an assortment of exotic foods, sloshing through mud, and listening to a wide array of high quality music, mostly jazz, I found myself thinking about how what was happening on stage related to life. Here’s what I learned in no particular order.

There is a time to be serious and a time to laugh. Both are essential.

Eye contact and smiles communicate a lot.

Listen to one another.

Respond to what you hear.

Let others express themselves.

Find ways to make others sound better.

Push the limits, but stay on stage.

Let others have the space they need to do what they need to do.

There is a time to back off and a time to move forward.

Having someone on stage doesn’t mean that those in the audience are not participating.

It’s not always about you, but sometimes it is.

Everyone needs different amounts of attention at different times.

You can say a lot quietly.

Older people and younger people can play together.

It is ok to not always know where you will end up.

We don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel, but we must learn to improvise on it.

That’s it. Simple and complicated at the same time. It is up to us to apply these lessons to our own lives. By doing so, I believe we will be able to strengthen any and all of our communities.

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