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Jack Johnson This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The waves crash and the tide swirls up onto the soft white sand. A red-orange sun slides down from its zenith and streaks the sky in reds, pinks, and oranges. The air is still warm, and I can taste the salty ocean spray on my lips as I lie on my beach towel.

How I wish I were there. Instead, my breath is fogging up my frosted bedroom window as I stare out at a blanket of snow. I pull out the ear buds and root myself back in the reality of a Pennsylvania winter. My brief beach getaway had been brought on by my favorite musician, Jack Johnson, whose songs have a relaxing, summery vibe.

His melodies and lyrics not only provide solace in my hectic life, but they also have instilled in me the belief that anyone can make the world a better place. In his song “Gone” he sings, “And cars and phones and diamond rings, bling bling. Those are only removable things. And what about your mind? Does it shine? Or are there things that concern you more than your time?” He has taught me that there is so much more to life than having material goods and wealth. Life is all about how and where you spend your time. I have learned that I want to spend it helping others and focusing on important problems in today's society.

One issue that Jack Johnson addresses in his songs is the harm that humans are inflicting on the environment. He also practices what he preaches by producing his album sleeves on eco-friendly paper, organizing eco-friendly tours, and establishing organizations like “All at Once,” which involves the community in helping the environment. He has made me aware of how I treat the environment, and now I encourage others to educate themselves.

Additionally, Jack Johnson's personal story has impacted how I live each day. He began playing guitar at age 14, but it was not until he experienced a near-fatal surfing accident that songwriting and performing became his career.

When I listen to his music, I think of his story and muse on how “dead ends” can become new beginnings, depending on how one reacts. Jack Johnson did not choose to give up, but rather made lemonade out of a mountain of lemons. Thankfully, I have not experienced such a traumatic event, but I have adopted his never-give-up attitude in my everyday life.

In a world of superficial, materialistic musicians, Jack Johnson is a pleasant change.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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WishfulDoer said...
Jun. 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm
I love Jack Johnson. He's my cheer-up musician, and I think it's disappointing that he's as underrated as he is.
 
JR&MR said...
Oct. 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm
Thought provoking - full of hope and promise.
 
Aunt M A said...
Oct. 27, 2009 at 10:30 am
This is an uplifting piece!
 
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