Meeting the Diva: Career and Compassion

Walk the hallways at the Walter Reed Hospital in VA and you will see a lot of recovering soldiers listening to iPods. Many of those iPods were loaded with music and given to soldiers through the Stevie Nicks Soldiers Angel Foundation. Stevie visits Walter Reed Hospital when she can and brings the iPods with her as gifts to the soldiers. She doesn’t care that these young men and women may be too young to know who she is because by the time she leaves, they know they have a new friend. What I admire most about this foundation is that it is done without a lot of fanfare, little publicity. There is no rhetoric about war, for or against, on Stevie’s website. Now, maybe it is a ploy to drum up publicity for Stevie, a nod for her “good works.” But I don’t think so. She just contributes when she can, and gets friends to upload the music to the ipods, seeing that she is not a very technical person herself. There are no much-publicized interviews on the foundation, there are no loud appeals for funds or donations. It just happens.

It takes a certain kind of person to bring this type of foundation into being and make it work. Empathy and compassion go a long way in this world, especially when so many people, not just injured military personnel, are struggling. Stevie’s stroll across the stage and handshaking during her concerts are legendary. I got to meet her at one concert in San Francisco, where she stopped to shake my hand and talk. I have no idea what she said because I was standing in front of Waddy Wachtel and his guitar, and that boy is loud. And, honestly, I don’t really care what she said because there are some people you look at and know they get it. They know what empathy and compassion are and how to act on them.
Setting up the Stevie Nicks Soldiers Angel Foundation  is a great use of a career. Why not? Stevie has the fame and fortune to pull it off. She is also smart enough to recognize the healing power of music. Many of these military people are at Walter Reed for a long haul of physical and mental recovery. Love her music or hate it, this woman has had a music career that has spanned over 40 years, longer if you count her baby years standing on the bartops of country western bars performing with her grandfather. She has survived serious drug addictions when many of her contemporaries perished. Stevie has also engineered a spectacular musical career comeback both in her solo career and with Fleetwood Mac. And she still carves out time in her schedule for Walter Reed.

We all work long days and get frazzled sometimes, and while we are on our own road to recovery out of a recession, it is still hard. Many of us are underemployed, struggling under a pile of bills and do not have secure living and food situations. However, compassion really does go a long way, and it doesn’t have to be giving away piles of money or other things. It’s as simple as offering a kind word to a co-worker, finding solutions to problems together instead of bickering, or even offering help on a project or a sympathetic ear. It’s just a few words, just a few minutes. It’s so easy, and it can change everything…

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2 Responses

  1. What a great reminder that we all have something to give!

  2. And the internet, at least for me, makes it even easier to contribute.

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