There was no mosh pit at the James Taylor concert last night. No muscle bound security guards fought off wild, screaming, drunken fans from rushing the stage.

Instead, the Intrust Arena in Wichita was filled with people more or less my age who grew up with the troubadour and could sing along with, “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Fire and Rain,” Whenever I See Your Smiling Face,” and “Shower the People You Love with Love.” We sat through most of the concert like we were sitting in a living room listening to a friend play his songs.

Joy 1: If you set out to inspire people, people will pass that inspiration on to others.
Shortly before he came on stage, they projected cell phone recording of various musicians from around the world singing J.T. songs. I was reminded of the leadership guru John Maxwell who said the shift in his success was when he decided to start adding value to the lives of people he met each day. I want to be that kind of person; one that adds value to each person I meet.

Joy 2: There is an audience of people who are not wild, screaming drunken fans looking for a mosh pit.
I read the other day about “the exhausted majority” – that two-thirds of our population who are NOT radicalized. It would appear in the news or on some social media channels, that the entire United States is polarized into one camp or another when, surveys show, that two-thirds of the population are NOT radicalized and actually know how to carry on a civil conversation with people of opposing views and don’t demonize someone who thinks differently than they do.

Joy 3: Artists must continue to create.
J.T. is 74 and, I’m guessing, doesn’t need the money. It’s the love of music, the love of telling a story, the love of stirring up a crowd, the love of working with world class musicians, (and, my goodness, he had some great ones on stage with him!) and the love of the process. He has not retired. In fact, he had a lot of new material.

Joy 4: I’d rather sell love than fear, anger and hate.
Sometimes I forget that people are trying make money off of me by creating fear, anger and hate. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a news channel, politician, religious leader, corporations using fear to get you to by their products and stay away from others (food manufacturers are some of the worst), fear-based marketing and hate/anger-based marketing is prevalent.

“I have decided to stick with love,” said Dr. Martin Luther King. “Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Instead, J.T. sings,
“Just shower the people you love with love
Show them the way that you feel
Things are gonna work out fine
If you only will
Do as I say
Shower the people you love with love
Show them the way that you feel
Things are gonna be much better
If you only will
Shower the people you love with love.

Joy 5: You need a band to make you better.
J.T. had an incredible band of people pushing his age, but each had world-class resumes. He could have taken the route that some younger musicians do by showing up and playing with soundtracks or making their own tracks while they’re in concert and I suppose that’s okay if you like individualism, but I like a band, I like community. We need each other.

I’ll leave you with one more J.T. song, “You’ve Got a Friend”
“When you’re down and troubled
And you need some lovin’ care
And nothin’, nothin’ is goin’ right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know, wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’
To see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there
You’ve got a friend”

Thanks, J.T. You make us want to be better people.

Here’s a YouTube version of JT and “You’ve Got a Friend” in his younger days.