Last Sunday, Dave Matthews participated in John Varvatos' Annual Stuart House Benefit. The event, held at Varvatos' West Hollywood Store, raises money and awareness to help children who have been sexually abused. This year, Dave assisted the foundation in raising over $700,000 for this worthy cause.
As Steve Baltin of "Rolling Stone" describes it, the day is full of family fun and relaxation, complete with a kids tent for the little ones. According to him, the atmosphere is so chill that celebrities walk easily amongst the crowd, especially Dave, who reportedly spent part of his afternoon delighting children with his antics. Baltin also said that Dave told his share of jokes and stories while performing, as no solo Dave performance is complete without a good bit of Dave-speak.
Concert-goers were treated to a 40 minute acoustic set, which included, "41", "Stay or Leave," "You and Me," "Crush," "Funny the Way it Is," and "Sweet." But what really stood out for me, was Dave's undying humility in the midst of this act of charity. In this video, taken by "Extra," our favorite musician, perhaps characteristically, downplays his role in the celebration. Giving away all of the credit, he talks of his part as just "singing," which he describes as easy, while others, he says, have spent months preparing and working for this occasion.
While I am sure that Dave is rightly giving props to those in charge of this amazing function, it also occurs to me that this is not a new behavior for our lead singer. And it makes me wonder, what if Dave honestly doesn't know how powerful and healing his voice and music really are? Yes, we could all probably use a dose of the reserve that DJM shows in regards to his own abilities, but at some point, isn't it not only our right, but also our obligation to own our strengths? Some theorists believe, and I tend to agree, that we have all been put here on this Earth for a reason, and that each of us comes equipped with various potentials and talents. It is, then, part of our growth process to recognize the gifts that we have been given, and share them with others. It is in this way, that our own unique flair becomes fodder for creativity in those around us.
Now, I am not picking on Dave for his way of being. Actually, I think he provides a great balance to most rock-stars, who just can't get enough of themselves. But I do think that his unpretentiousness can serve as a jumping off point for our own self-exploration. Are we acknowledging our own power? Or are we allowing life's inevitable circumstances to weigh us down? Are we letting others see our true beauty? Or are we hiding behind our own faults.
Many of us carry serious apprehensions about what it would be like to truly step into our essence. I believe that Marianne Williamson said it best when she asserted that, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure." But just imagine what a joyride this life would really be, if we could realize that, "You and I, we're not tied to the ground, not falling but rising." Everyday.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.