Your Right To Be Yourself
STATE OF THE WORLD SUNDAYS
Recently, Niels started to take time out of his schedule every Sunday to reflect on the state of the world and share his thoughts with his fans via facebook. We live in a very turbulent time right now, politically, socially and environmentally. With signs of dramatic change emerging from all angles. Historically, major changes in society have always sparked great art. Our team here believes that one of the most important roles of an artist is to reflect and comment on the world he or she lives in. Through his or her art - regardless how abstract the art form may be. This objective is high on Niels’ artistic agenda. Our State of the World Sunday posts is our way to give you an insight on the artist’s concrete thoughts, before they filter down into his subconsciousness and find their way to his music as abstract poetic reflections.
Niels originally wrote his first three Sunday posts as one continuous one, but later we decided to split it up into three individual parts. However, as they were really well received, we’d like to hereby share them with you as one continuous text. We are very grateful to everyone for your appreciation of these posts and Niels is excited to engage and interact with you on important global issues affecting us all. He plans to continue his state of the world posts every Sunday, so stay tuned for more. Now enjoy reading Niels’ full length post below entitled “Your Right To Be Yourself.” With best wishes from Niels Lan Doky’s management team.
YOUR RIGHT TO BE YOURSELF
Having lived (probably) more than half of my life by now, I am happy to be able to say that I know myself quite well at this point. That is one of the advantages of getting older. You learn to differentiate between who you really are Vs. who other people want you to be (or who you are conditioned to wrongfully believe other people want you to be). Sunday is my favorite day to reflect on the state of the world and today this memory comes to mind: Years ago, when the late great Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen turned fifty and I asked him how that felt, one of his comments was, "I feel that I have earned the right to be myself". When he passed away seven years later, and I told this anecdote to our mutual dear friend Lisa Nilsson, we both cried. Today this memory reminds me of the importance for all of us to learn how to be ourselves.
Years of touring taught me that I can be happy with just a suitcase's worth of belongings, never missing any of the excess material belongings that so many of us spend lifetimes hoarding. As long as I am around people I love and doing something that I am passionate about, I don't need much else. As a musician your job is to create love, joy and excitement. And when you connect with other people through your music, you get all that back tenfold. Regardless what your "music" is, I believe anyone can do this. If you look around you and what is going on in the world, it is easy to conclude that humanity is astray. And I think that greed and over-consumption is among the root causes. Since a while now, I have been trying hard to distance myself as much as I can from the self-destructive consumer ideology we live in, and cultivate and nurture other values instead. I feel blessed about the fact that I am still just as passionate today about music, as I was when I first started playing as a young boy. And I am just as in love with the woman in my life as I was when I first met her four years ago. And just as proud of my three children as I was when they were just born. I really don't need much else in life.
Over time, the external parameters have changed around me. The houses I have lived in have changed sizes and locations. The digits in my bank accounts have changed (with both ups and downs, lol :-), etc. - but in retrospect it has all played a very small part in the final sum total. I have always consumed just about the same, and actually less now. I realize that by living my passion and being with people I love, I don't really need much else. Everything else feels somewhat superficial and of marginal importance. It makes me wonder if all the greed and over-consumption in the world today is a result of deprivation of love and passion. We have allowed ourselves to be sucked in to a system that makes most people slaves of over-consumption and of a modern ideology that is based on a self-defeating monetary system. And that leaves very little room for love and passion. I am optimistic though, I do think we are in the midst of a quiet revolution and major transformation. A paradigm shift is coming soon and I hope that the future will have lots of room for all people to pursue their individual passions, whatever they may be. And grant everyone the right to be themselves. Meanwhile I just continue my quest that started at age five - my mission to solve the mystery of music, one note at a time. There is no final destination, but the journey is amazing.
Niels Lan Doky, Elsinore, Sunday, August 11th, 2019