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Jonathan Suttin

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1 Way You Can Avoid Being Grumpy...FOREVER

We all have our bad days.  There are things that happen at work or at home that really annoy us all.  I now have a new way to avoid being grumpy.  Whenever things get tough I simply say these two words:  Michael Franti. Michael Franti came in for a Studio M session this last Saturday and was truly inspirational.  He's a musician who you may have just noticed with his songs "Say Hey (I Love You)" and "Sound of Sunshine."  However, Franti has actually been making music for about 20 years. So what's so inspirational about this guy?  He is truly one giant ball of positive energy. Before interviewing Franti, I did a little research and found out when the Iraq war started he flew to Baghdad to meet with some Iraqi people as well as U.S. soldiers.  He didn't go on a USO tour with other musicians, he flew there on his own and walked around the streets.  He even described his landing in Iraq.  He said the pilot had to do a "spiral descent" which meant the plane dropped straight down as if it was crashing.  This was done in order to avoid being hit by ground missiles.  Franti then spent some time in Israel meeting with both Israelis and Palestinians to find out what life was like there. Franti also walks around barefoot.  He's been doing it for 10 years to help raise awareness about children all over the world who can't afford shoes.  Along with not wearing shoes himself, he's part of an organization which raises money to provide shoes around the world. He only wears shoes when he's required or it's really snowy outside.  In both those cases, he wears flip flops. Franti was also given up for adoption when he was born.  His birth mother is white and birth father is black.  His mom wanted to give him up for adoption because she was worried people would judge him because he came from a mixed race family.  The family that adopted is white and have three natural born children, but also two adopted African-American children.  Franti says he learned in that household the importance of tolerance and truly accepting everyone no matter what color, religion or sexual orientation they may be. Franti had the entire Studio M audience in the palm of his hand within the first minute of playing.  His positive energy washed over the crowd immediately.  Not  only was the music fantastic, but he talked about the importance of staying positive.  It may sound corny, but he was being very sincere.  He said he must work at staying positive each and every day, but that in time it gets easier and easier.  He talked about how easy it is to be negative in a given situation, but if you work at staying the positive the outcome will be much better. After the session was over, he took time to meet with each person who came and really talk with each person, even if it was just for a moment.  I've watched hundreds of artists pose for a picture and not even make eye contact with the fan.  Franti introduced himself to each person and made sure to look them in the eye.  He even had stickers for  the little kids who came to the performance. So the next time you're irritated because someone didn't do something properly at work or the fast food place messes up your order, just say Michael Franti.  I know I will. Click here to listen to Michael Franti perform "Say Hey (I Love You)"  Live from Studio M.

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10/11/2010 1:41PM
1 Way You Can Avoid Being Grumpy...FOREVER
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