Simple Man

One week ago today, my sister welcomed a baby boy to her family. A day later, my oldest friend and his wife welcomed a son into their home. All families are happy, healthy, and doing great.

Driving earlier this week, I heard Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Now, I haven’t heard this song in many years, but I realized while listening how relevant it was as my sister and her husband and my dear friend and his wife usher their newborn boys into the world. I listened to the song several more times later that night, and found myself in a reflective mood, wondering what advice (if any) I could offer these two very young men. It struck me after a few listens that the final stanza of Simple Man says almost everything I could want:

Boy, don’t you worry.

You’ll find yourself.

Follow your heart.

And nothing else.

You can do this,

if you try.

All that I want for you my son,

is to be satisfied.

I hope these boys think big, set outrageous goals, and fail in entertaining fashion as they pursue them. I hope they get exalted, knocked down, and pick themselves right back up. I hope they raise a little hell, get into some trouble, and come out the other side having learned a healthy lesson.

Mostly, though, I hope they find in their hearts what it is that they love, and that they pursue it with everything they can. That’s the stuff of dreams—the stuff of a happy life.

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4 comments

  1. What a fantastic track. Sound advice for those boys, maybe someday they’ll read what you wrote about them! I think this advice applies not only to infants but to a someone of any age. You’re never too old to follow your heart, set outrageous goals, or fail. You’re never too old to learn new lessons. You’re never too old to seek satisfaction or follow your dreams. If you feel you haven’t done this, its NEVER too late to turn it around. Another track that has always inspired me and made my mind soar is Led Zeppelin’s Going to California. For anyone who has ever moved far from where they grew up to chase their dreams, I think this song makes a connection. (The song has a romantic element to it as well.)

    ‘Made up my mind to make a new start, Going To California with an aching in my heart.
    Someone told me there’s a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.
    Took my chances on a big jet plane, never let them tell you that they’re all the same.
    The sea was red and the sky was grey, wondered how tomorrow could ever follow today.’

    Don’t ever be afraid to take your chances on a big jet plane.

    -Tommy Enright

    1. You know, I’ve always loved that song as a “softer” side (so to speak) of Led Zeppelin, but I had not put the connection to it that you mentioned. After listening again (numerous times), I have a new appreciation for it. I agree completely – “dont ever be afraid to take your chances on a big jet plane” – and as I think over some of the changes I hope to make sometimes I do feel that I’ve made the decision to late. It’s always a refreshing reminder to hear from someone that this is never the case!

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