A few days ago I was passing by a bar on Parmentier avenue, in Paris, and there was a nice band playing live. Their name is Falak. Check www.myspace.com/falaklegroupe. If you ever visit Paris, this bar is a cool small place to listen to live music in a friendly environment:
(they have live shows every Tuesday and Thursday)
To make the story short, the energy of the place was very warm and "attractive". So, with my company we decided to stay and listen to the music and go another time to "that restaurant in which I want to eat since I came to Paris" (but for some reason I have not done until now). We made the right decision because these three men were very soulful and connected well with the audience that had really a great time with them (us too).
Especially the singer. He was a very kind tall man, who was embarrassed like a small kid every time this annoying tourist with his new camera was approaching him to take close-up photos. He had his way to make the audience sing with him and get excited. At some point, and as the concert was close to its end, he started singing a song at the style of "Minnie the Moocher" from Blues Brothers --you know Hidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehi), Hodehodehodeho (hodehodehodeho), and so one. People were very responsive and they made a lot of noise. At some point he stopped and he said that the "grandes gueules" (the big mouths) should stop singing in order for the "timides" (the shy ones) to be heard. So he continued his "hodedodehodeho" singing giving the floor once to the "grandes gueles" and once to the "timides". It was really fun and the timides indeed started to sing more loudly, but still not as much as the grandes gueules.
For a timide like myself, it was a very interesting experience. This man was very "positive" and the way he played this game really made me to want to participate. And even with a very low voice I did sing (which is a real revolution for me!). Another timide young man, even started to sing loudly and I saw on his face that he was very happy!
Returning home I remembered that in the morning I was talking about this concept of encouraging the strong personalities, in both online and real communities, to back up a little sometimes in order to give the floor to the less "confident" and competitive ones to express themselves. They often have interesting things to say! :-)
Changing roles can be a very productive and interesting experience for all parties. I don't know how easily this can happen in practice but I am sure there are ways. This singer gave me hope for this and I thank him very much. I will now go to their next show. I am curious to see if he will again seperate the people into "grandes gueules" and "timides" or my morning thoughts were an inspiration for him to play this nice game :-)
P.S. Before this post I wanted to write some of my thoughts for the recent riots in Greece, which affected me a lot, watching them for the first time from abroad. You can see here some photos I took when I went to Athens, the last day of a series of street protests: www.ipernity.com/doc/panayotis/album/104284.
My general philosophy for "improving our world" is that all we should first focus on ourselves and "become the change we want to see in the world". My related motto is "resist alone you are not alone". Sometimes it seems very romantic but in my mind is a crucial equirement. Without the desire of people to lower their own needs, without effort to consume with responsibility, and offer more than receiving , the "revolution" seems so hopeless. Anyway, I am still confused and this is why I don't want to say anything more for the moment. As I told you, I would classify myself more in the "timides" than the "grandes gueules", but it is the "grandes gueules" that make things happen. Or not? :-)