DO SOMETHING KIND

March 13th, 2015

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I recently heard a story which brought tears to my eyes and filled me with inspiration. Maybe you have already heard of the “Dancing Man” but essentially there was a human being (who happens to be overweight) who was dancing at a concert. Another human being started teasing the dancing man (from what I understand because of how he danced, and how he looked), inevitably shaming him to stop dancing. The bully then showed the world what an absolute dick he was by posting this mean, heart-wrenching photo:

I read an article about the situation which not only criticized the bully, but also humorously promoted the right to dance, saying “A great many men decline to dance, because they think they will look like fools. They do not realize that they already look like fools, because they squandered an opportunity to dance.”

It turns out, somewhere, somehow, a group of extremely compassionate and open-hearted women heard about this situation and organized a campaign to find this man, and then fly him out for a dance party which would celebrate people dancing however they felt; encouraging fun over appearance. I was extremely inspired by this! So random, so generous, so fun, so compassionate! And so random. I love that it was completely unsolicited, and just a genuine campaign to just “do something nice”.

Back in grade school I used to get so upset watching a bully pick on someone. To this day I am stunned by how viscous, heartless, cruel, and relentless all human beings can be (myself included… I can distinctly remember joining in at times, and I can also remember the humiliation and pain of being picked on). Simply going out of one’s way to stand up to a bully, to defend the persecuted, to promote kindness in an atmosphere of aggression: these things are pure and good!

But the story of the Dancing Man went a bit farther, because it really reminded me of how miraculous life can feel when one decides to do irrational acts of kindness: it is one of the most thrilling and rewarding ways to spend one’s time. I remember back in college my friends and I used to go out through the neighborhood on Sunday morning (after dancing all night at a warehouse somewhere in San Francisco) and find houses which had been vandalized by toilet paper (a mischievous activity I’m guilty of engaging in once or twice when I was very young) and spontaneously cleaning up the mess, then leaving a kind note for the household to wake up to. Or we would go to a convalescent home and visit with the elderly, or identify someone around town who seemed to need a friend and reach out to them. It was just fun to do, and it felt good to do it.

When I saw the movie “Amelie” I felt a similar bolt of enthusiasm (if you haven’t seen this movie, watch it – it is MOST EXCELLENT) …essentially a fairy tale about a girl who mischievously engages in random acts of kindness: intricate campaigns designed to share magic and delight with the unsuspecting human beings around her.

The story of the dancing man makes me hope many more people out there get inspired to not only stand up against bullying, but take the next step to reach out and make new friends, do random acts of kindness for other people, remember how beautiful life can be, and how easy it is to do something kind for someone else.

It goes a long way.

  • bssnctrmi

    Being nice doesn’t cost anything.

  • Marco Cianfarani

    Lorin, I’m glad you have seen the dancing man post and responded to it. I too had a hard time comprehending the lack of compassion for another fellow human being. How could someone be so cruel? That poor man may have been going out of his comfort zone for the first time in a while, and to see him put to shame made me feel like I too, had to do something about it. I’m glad to hear that someone reached out to him and made him feel special for being NORMAL! That’s how I feel when I attend your shows. No one points and laughs, no one really cares because everyone is spontaneously, collectively letting loose. Letting go. All at once. This guy needs to come to a Bassnectar show 🙂
    Random acts of kindness have always compelled me. I am a firm believer in karma, in one form or another. We are all human – no matter what – never forget that. Peace is free, too. You’d be surprised how much it makes you feel better about yourself just to be nice or do something without asking for another person.

    Thanks for the uplifting read.

    • kyle

      This just made my day! Thank you!!

  • Mike Flynn

    i continue to be inspired by your message both in your music and out. i really love this kind of thing

  • Andrea Mossman

    I heard this story recently and at first it made me so angry. It’s hard not to want to fight back with anger and spread hate all over the internet. I have to remind myself that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr. The EDM/Rave scene’s roots are “come as you are”….we will embrace you and accept you when no other community will. We cannot forget our roots…PLUR. I love you all and love getting weird with you. 🙂

  • This post. Amelie. #DoubleLove

  • heraclitus

    This is really uplifting, thanks for sharing. Also, mega props for your candidness too Lorin – we all have the potential to be cruel and vicious human beings, but also to be loving, kind, and compassionate. We ought to feel compassion even for that bully, because deep down their mean-spiritedness betrays a wretched emptiness – the way we treat others is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Anyway, thanks again for this

  • Jane

    Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Storm Brittany

    Thank you for being.

  • Amelia Smith

    Just imagine how much we can change, inspire, and uplift each other if we choose to live our lives with this attitude of love, generosity, kindness, empathy and respect! Let’s make this a better world, one by one for all of us!

    • Joe Ryan

      This community has an absurd amount of power to make a SERIOUS difference in the world. It’s wonderful to see more and more people wanting to devote their time to making things better for those around them. Thanks for your effort and desire!!

  • Adam Hatch

    Seeing someone that can reach as many people as you share such a compassionate and meaningful message solely to share the message is wonderful. You’re the man CUZ YOU DO WHAT YOU WANNA DO YOU DO WHAT YOU LIKEEE

  • Martin

    Hey Lorin, I cannot express in words the way this story touched me. I have always been overweight and taller than most of the people around me and as such I always felt like I stood out and I didn’t dance because of it. Whenever I did I felt the eyes of people staring or judging me. I still feel this way when I dance at shows and events. However, the reason I am writing this is that the only time I feel a sense of openness is within our community of “bassheads ” I’ve been to multiple of your shows and other similar artists and always get down and never feel this judgemental eye over my shoulder. It just goes to show that your character is truly reflected on the community of which you serve too. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Keep on keeping on!

    • MARTIN! That is so beautiful! It’s one of the many goals, to help create an inclusive haven where humans can feel safe to be themselves, and where everyone is kind and conscientious and constructive…. it made my day to read this!!!! 🙂

      • Joe Ryan

        This is exactly why I made it a goal to join the Ambassador team, to do everything in my power to ensure as many people as possible don’t ever have to feel this way, at the very least be someone who does something so minute that gives people the chance to overcome experiences like this. I really wish more and more people could find it in their hearts to be more kind to each other. Thank you for the program, the platform is ridiculous to say the least. This story touched my heart and I can only up that people carry it in their hearts and apply it to everyday life. Much love!!

        • killer, that is exactly my vision for ambassadors! glad to have you on the team 🙂

  • Lauren

    maybe it’s not so much a random act of kindness as it is a deliberate act of kindness. always choose love. <3

  • Bass neck with the ????

    And people wonder why I have a hoodie and shades (hater blockers) on at every winter show and bandanas and hats on all summer camping out…..fuck em let that bass pounce every fiber of your being whether it’s a 8 year old who weighs 50 pounds letting his feet tap or a 3000 pound gorilla who likes the vibration of pounding his chest.

    And I’m not a violent or hateful person but best believe if I see a group of people picking on someone for having too much fun I’ll let my alter ego out. As long as you aren’t socially inept or rude/bothering anyone, loud and bumping into everybody, be there with everything you can ever let out. Let that shit encompass you.

    Imagine how boring some of these events would be if everyone was sitting down in tuxes sober with bifocals still…..humans are going to keep evolving. Obviously bassnectar has helped push that process forward with his wild energy live. What if Lorin shaved his head and just sat there like a monk while dropping heavy beats…it wouldn’t make sense. Or if Jimi Hendrix didn’t set his guitar on fire and flail around like a fish out of water….stop drinking alcohol, start ingesting less judgmental substances. Be judgmental I mean in your mind, not societies.

    • Joe Ryan

      right there with you dude, it’s incredibly sad to see people being picked on, outed and judged. I’ve got to believe that the majority of us are going out to these shows for the same reason. Doesn’t make any sense.

  • Donald

    Can’t stand seeing someone get picked on at a rave. It is an open environment of free flowing love. Although we all do have a choice, and a voice! Use it wisely.

  • Dan

    I love Amelie! Such a great flick. Superb soundtrack too 🙂

  • Danny Lim

    Much Love & Hugs to the women who invited the “Dancing Man” and to you as well Bassnectar!!! 😀

  • Cole Beat Vibes

    Lorrin the fact that you write meaningful articles on your site ontop of dropping heavy layyers of Bass on my face on a number of occasions… It makes me love you even more as an artist, and a Human Being. Love you dude, keep bringing the awesome vibes and the heady beats <3

  • Stephanie Hanson

    When I saw the picture of that poor man a few months back, hanging his head in shame, I cried. I cried for a long time. I wanted to hug him. Tell him “Fuck those guys! You dance! Dance like no one is watching!” I was picked on relentlessly growing up for how I looked, how I danced, because I didn’t fit the mold of what these asshole kids thought I should and I remember the feeling of shame, sadness and embarrassment. This story hit close to home. But when I read the follow up story about those amazing women who put on a dance party for this guy, it reminded me that there are good people in the world! Genuine people. And I appreciate them! Thanks for sharing this story (7 months ago 😉 ) And sharing your personal stories to tie into it. Respect