Higher and Higher and Into the Fire: Music for Nonprofit Devotees, Part I

It had been a long day. It was late, and I was feeling a little downtrodden. Some ups and downs of nonprofit work had been endured and it left me feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. I was expecting a rather quiet, sullen drive home when the notion hit me to put a very old CD into my car’s CD player and see what the last song on it was.

There it was. The intrepid, anticipatory strings and horn. The suspense and the goosebumps on my skin, knowing what emotions the song would bring. I’d found in a pile of random CDs in my old car a copy of the song that — even after 10 years — still made me clench my fist in determination to make a difference!

In “Into the Fire”, Percy Blakeney (AKA, “The Scarlet Pimpernel“, AKA the original Batman) rallies his friends around him to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to help others in need. When I first heard the song, I was 15. For years it would be my theme song, and only a few years ago had I somewhat forgotten it and my love for it–until tonight when I inadvertently dusted it off.

I’m glad I did. It was just what I needed.

Every one has their way of coping with bad days, burn out, emotional exhaustion, or other inhibiting feelings. Music has always been mine. Before I even knew what a “nonprofit” was or how it could be a mode through which I could work to bring about change, I was drawing upon the power of music to inspire and energize me to think of ways I might try to make an impact. It’s not something measurable (we love our metrics) but it can’t be denied that there’s some mystical power to a song. If it can get my adrenaline going and cause me to bolster my efforts towards my cause on a given day, that’s saying something.

Coming next: Music for Nonprofit Devotees, Part II: 10 Songs to (Re)Invigorate Changemakers