Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Greetings Happy People,

When was the last time you experienced fear? For me, it happened last Saturday. Before I stepped up to the stage, I had my concerns. After I stepped down, I really had nothing to worry about. It was all in my head!!

Last Saturday evening, Dana and I were hanging out with a few friends from my high school. We were talking, laughing, and having a great time. We were there for two reasons. The first one was to celebrate one of my friend’s birthdays and the other was to witness a black belt ceremony for Karate Karaoke.

What exactly is Karate Karaoke? It is a place where you not only have the chance to go up to the stage and sing your choice of songs, but also do this in a way where you get credited via belt status. The more songs you sing the higher belt level you get. For example, I am midway through my yellow belt. A few more songs and I will become an orange belt.

That night, they had a black belt ceremony for one of the Karate Karaoke regulars. The DJ was dressed up in his karate garb. They also had one of those miniature gongs. The guy that received the black belt credit had the chance to gong anybody he wanted to. This automatically stops the person on stage from singing. Instead, the DJ would give them a free drink coupon and a bumper sticker that said “I Got Gonged at Karate Karaoke.”

Before I had the chance to sing my second song of the night, I saw other singers get gonged off the stage. Being the first time I ever saw this made me feel nervous. When it was my time to go up the stage, I went up there looking at that gong and the guy holding the stick. With great trepidation, I sang the Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue.” I was looking at the gong throughout that song. As you can tell, this was not my best performance. It was so bad that Johnny Cash would have come up to me and said, “Don’t you ever sing that song again you hear?” When it was over, I breathe a sigh of relief.

When it was Dana’s turn to go upstage, she was going to sing a Dolly Parton song. Within a few seconds, she was gonged. Did she have any fears about being gonged? Not really. She just wanted to get the bumper sticker and a drink for me!! WOW!! Here I was worrying about how bad I was going to do on stage and my honey went up the stage for a whole different reason!! When I thought about it in that perspective, the gong did not seem so harmless!! For the rest of the night, we all continued to have fun and watch a few more people get gonged. The night did start AND end on a pretty good note!!

Fear is a funny thing happy people. Just when you thought things would go one way, they turn towards another direction. We all experience fears on different levels. How we handle it IS up to us. Are we going to let our fears keep us from what we want to do? Or are we going to overcome them and be better than we were before? We can only answer that for ourselves!! Until then, all we can do is face the music and experience our own “gongs” along the way!! When it is all said and done, we will be better for it.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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