Dear Friends,

Together we can do anything. I truly believe that. Whether that is as a family, or a community, or a nation.

I know many hundreds of thousands of things that destroy togetherness but what are the words, actions, behaviors that bring us together? What strengthens togetherness?

I’m reminded of a recent adventure to Los Angeles to see Harry Styles in concert. The essence of togetherness was everywhere.

Before the concert, I had to talk myself through some resistance and negative expectations like:

  1. I don’t like huge venues. They don’t feel personal.
  2. There’s going to be endless lines due to covid checks.
  3. Teeny boppers and their over-the-top adulation and screams. Too syrupy.
  4. I expected the opening act to be subpar.
  5. The entire evening would be longer than I wanted to stay out.

As each of these thoughts arose, I countered them with thoughts like,
Let’s just enjoy getting ready and see what happens.

  1. So what if there are going to be lines? You love to people watch.
  2. You’ve been waiting to attend a live music event for nearly 2 years.
  3. You love being in LA!
  4. You love live music!

When we got to the venue, the lines moved quickly and the teeny boppers were fantastic in their creative outfits and enthusiasm. They were ready to be transported by Harry Styles and nothing was going to get in the way of that.

Seeing them embodying such excitement, joie de vivre, and fun, I let go of any doubts I had about the evening. I was going to join in and let myself be swept up by the waves of joy and have a great time.

The opening act was an incredible performer called Jenny Lewis. She was light-hearted, talented, and confident. I loved her voice and lyrics. She seemed to be having fun on the stage. Time flew by as we danced along to the infectious melodies.

After Jenny’s last bow to loud cheers from the audience, the stadium darkened, the anticipation was electric and palpable. Screams, clapping, and giggles filled the atmosphere around me as Harry stepped on the stage. And off we went on a booming sonic wave of 20,000 frenzied screams of ecstatic teens and twenty-somethings.

We sang, danced, and let out hoots of joy. I looked around at the immense sea of togetherness we were in as the brilliant Harry Styles reminded us to have fun, to treat people with kindness, and to love our unique selves.

The final song ended, lights came on, and we exited with a collective unified experience of togetherness coursing through our cells. Laughter, overlapping stories, and songs sung with renewed gusto accompanied me and my friends to our cars.

I left the concert thinking, that that fullness, that singing along, knowing the lyrics, and feeling the same emotions, these are togetherness making ingredients. It doesn’t have to be a Harry Styles concert, it can be anyone you love to listen to or watch. Shared experiences are key…

If we can unite in song, in feelings, in giving someone the space to be themselves and appreciate them, I feel pretty confident that that kind of togetherness creates beautiful, happy, people.