I’ve been procrastinating about this idea for a while now and finally thought, “What the H am I doing waiting so long… this stuff has to be told.”
With our Facebook news feeds being filled up with an ungodly amount of self-indulgence and self-promotion (guilty on both accounts BTW) I am trying to be more intentional about validating the incredible people around me… publicly. I am surrounded by such beautiful people who have done (and do) such amazing things for me / us / our community that I want to shine the light on what I see in them.
So, here’s PART 1 of a series that could continue until the dawn of time or just stop after this one. It’s basically just a way of kicking myself in the ass because in about a month or so I’ll be saying to myself “Hey Neek, who’s going to be the PART 2 feature?”.
With that introduction, I’d like to introduce you to my first LIVING LEGEND: GRAHAM ORD with a few reasons why I chose him:
In my opinion, he is one of the most understated musicians around but what I admire so much about how he rolls is that he is constently on the encouraging end of things… pushing other people forward without a need to be recognized. He is always asked to play at parties and he (seemingly) always says yes (anyone need a good backup band for your next bar mitzvah?). Basically, big crowds and big money don’t impress him. They are nice, but he is motivated by an intention to serve people. I love that.
He is also up there with one of the most KIND men I have ever known. He was telling me a story a few weeks ago and said “Kindness really does have the ability to change someone’s life”. I believe this. It has changed mine. Part of this kindness is knowing when to be an idiot and make an inappropriate joke or 2. He is stellar at this timing.
He is an incredible husband & father of 7 children. I have seen this man in the midst of stressful situations in which he consistently has shown insane amounts of grace, patience, and unconditional love. I love that he teaches his kids that mistakes are OK.
He understands what pain is. He has an unbelievable ability to empathize with people in all kinds of situations. I’ve seen how he talks about people walking through hard times. The homeless. The hurting. The tired. The confused. Empathy is what he has to offer. He has experienced intense heartache in his life including losing a child. When you’ve walked through something like this it either makes you bitter or better. One of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me as I was in the middle of walking through a storm of fecal matter was “SUCK THE LEMON“. His encouragement to me has always been to face the hard stuff. Don’t run. He has modelled this time and time again.
Graham is a hero of mine. A mentor. A friend. A bandmate. A rock. A living legend. You deserve a tall beer.
MORE ABOUT GRAHAM
Photo credit: Wendy McAlpine