By: Ken Boone
Today's my birthday! To be precise, at 6:40PM, I will have successfully lived 62 years on this earth. I share this date with R&B singer Anita Baker and actor Lorenzo Lamas. The three of us may have been born literally minutes apart. But perhaps the most famous member of this club is comedian George Burns. He lived to the ripe old age of 100, which gives the rest of us hope.
January 20th is also the day we inaugurate the President of the United States, although that happens every four years. For me, it's either an extra happy birthday or a "I can't wait for this day to end" date on the calendar, depending on if my candidate wins or loses. And that's all I'll say on the subject.
For me, this particular birthday is much more significant to the others to date. Today makes it 50 years that I've outlasted an "end of the world" prediction. According to a then well-respected source, the country of China was going to press their version of the red button and put an end to all of humanity!
As I look at all of the equipment on my desk and in my studio, it's obvious that they (China) did not blow up the world. They have bombarded the marketplace with affordable stuff that leveled the playing field in the areas of music, communications, entertainment, etc.
You probably would like to ask me, "Ken, what in the heck are you talking about?" Well, let me start by saying that I heard this "prediction" when I was just six years old. My brother and I went to my mother's Sunday morning choir rehearsal, sitting quietly in the back of the space. Of all the new, weird things I was forced to do as a result of my Mom converting to a new religion, attending her choir rehearsals was the worst, by far!
The choir director, who also served as a conference-employed Bible instructor, carried a great amount of spiritual clout within those circles. And she sure knew how to wield that clout. I can't speak for anyone else, but she single-handedly inflicted more spiritual harm on me than any one person could have.
In this instance, she was reading an article about that prediction of destruction. That fateful event was supposed to occur sometime in calendar year 1970. In all fairness, she was reading a newspaper article and I was eavesdropping on "adult conversation". That's a recipe to get things wrong, to be sure.
However, that message stuck with me. So much so that I tried to live a sinless life in the hopes that the 12-year-old Ken would get a spot among the select few who gained eternal life. When 1970 came and went with a whimper, my belief system was shattered and replaced with an unhealthy dose of cynicism.
The decades that followed were filled with a lot of fits and starts. For every significant achievement in my life, there were twice as many episodes of underachievement. I could tout the fact that I had very few failures, but that's because I didn't attempt to accomplish many things.
Although it took longer for me than for others, wisdom eventually kicked in. I looked at the accomplishments of others as inspiration, and not a source of contempt. There were others who endured much worse than me who not only survived, but thrived. And I realized that I turned out just fine!
As I said earlier, today is my birthday. Part of the extended celebration is a visit to my cardiologist for a test that will help to define my quality of life for the next decade of my life. I also treated myself to an inexpensive set of headphones to go in my mobile podcasting setup. Those "cans", like most of the other items in my well-stocked gig bag, were made in China, the country who, according to that prediction, was planning to end us 50 years ago! I guess not!
But Wait, There's More!
About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.