I just finished a weekend of training with our student staff and, as has become our tradition, we ended the weekend with a teambuilding exercise in which everyone contributed a song that represents them. We played a clip from each, tried to guess whose song it was, and then heard from the person who had actually chosen it about why they'd chosen that particular song.
It's always a fascinating exercise, as it gives us all a sense of how well we can predict each other, who among us always keeps us guessing, and who no one seems to know at all. It's fascinating to hear the range of music that people choose - ballads, novelty songs, dance tracks, musical numbers, oldies, current hits, songs everyone knows, songs no one else has heard - as well as the reasons that people choose their songs. Some chose their favorite songs of all time. Some chose their current favorites. Some chose songs because of a lyric that is meaningful to them. Some chose songs from their childhoods. Some chose songs that represent their world view. Some chose songs that remind them of a person or a place or a time in their lives. Some chose songs specifically because they didn't think anyone would guess it was theirs. One even chose a song because it was the song that was playing when he got the e-mail telling him to choose a song. Each song - each staff member - had a story, and every one of them was interesting to hear.
It got me thinking that it would be an interesting activity for any group of people to take on. So, if you're willing, post your song in the comments - what song best represents you and why? Post a link to the song if you can, so we can listen if we don't already know it.
I'll go first, with the song I chose for our staff activity today. This was our fourth year using this exercise, and I've found that choosing a new song each year forces me to think about the year that has past since the last January training, about where I was then, and about where I am now. This year I chose the song "Beautiful World," a duet by Dierks Bentley and Patty Griffin. I chose it because its message is one that resonates with me: there is a lot in this life that is challenging. There's a lot of pain and a lot of trouble. But there is also a lot of joy and a lot of beauty. I think that our lives get defined by the choice that we make to either focus on the trouble or focus on the beauty. And I choose to believe that it's a beautiful world.