Soulful Inspiration from Charles Bradley

Life can kick us in the shins, push us down, chop us into pieces, roll us into a stale tortilla, chomp our pieces into bits, and spit our remains out onto a dusty floor unfit even for peanut shells. Sometimes, life is worse than a paper cut and scraped knee on the playground combined.

Just as easily as life can throw its haymakers, it can also uplift. Sometimes, stories remind us that the pursuit of our dreams is what makes life beautiful. Sometimes, we see how perseverance—despite seemingly insurmountable hardships—can reward.

Charles Bradley’s is an example of such a story.

The New York Times described one of his performances as having “the feeling of childbirth, messy and noisy and urgent. Half of it is about heartbreak, and the other half politics and social concerns, with some of the darkest material (“Heartaches and Pain,” “Why Is It So Hard”) drawn from Mr. Bradley’s own life.”

From the moment Mr. Bradley starts to bellow, we see his passion pour off his forehead in beads of sweat, we hear decades of struggles claw to escape from inside his gruff voice, and we feel his passion erupt in triumph from his squinting, weary eyes. We listen because his emotion gives us no other choice.

Charles Bradley, you are something special.

Now that you know who inspired me this week, please share what inspired you.



  1. I really am happy to see your name in my inbox, because I know I can count on a few moments to enjoy reading your pieces. Seriously, all BS aside,
    I do think you have a gift. No matter the topic, I know it will cause me to think about things a little differently. Thanks Kelly. Aileen

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