Every month I write a little article about Bob Marley and how he affects so many lives in so many ways, myself especially. Everyone has someone they look up to in life and he is the one for me. Every month, and every day, emotions change to reflect what is happening in life – sometimes life is tough and you’re feeling pushed down and depressed and other times it’s all sunshine. This is how any musician makes a solid career, by writing through every type of emotion, and I believe that is why Robert Nesta affected so many people while he was alive, and why his lyrics continue to raise the children of the world. Bob Marley wrote about everything from sorrows to love songs, songs of freedom to songs of rebellion, but most importantly he wrote about unity.
Bob had a vision which equalled success in his mind and it had nothing to do with his own royalty, it was about the societies that he was a part of, the communities he grew up in, and overall mankind being one and getting along. When Bob Marley stood on stage with 2 white political members holding hands together to symbolize unity it was a humungous historic moment. He wasn’t trying to be a hero, he just wanted everyone to get along and stop fighting. The world will evolve further if we all work together instead of trying to compete against one another all the time and deciding who is better and so forth. You can look at this scenario in any part of life, it could be racial, it could be political, or it could be business. There are so many different ways to live your life, and so many paths to choose from. We learn that independence is a luxury, but does it bring you freedom? Maybe it can free one person, but what about the rest of your community? I look at skateboarding and think about the early years when it first began. It was new to everyone so there were no standards and each person belonged to their own group which had their own style and would only see other skateboarders at competitions.
Skateboarding through these early eras became quite competitive, especially in the 1980’s when there were a few key squadrons of hardcore guys. You had the Powell Team, Santa Cruz, H-Street and Vision and they all tried to outdo the others. Their styles were different, their graphics were unique, their videos had different meanings behind them, and when they competed they did so as a team. It was team against team. And what happened at the end of the 80’s? Skateboarding died out, and almost left for good…
When it came back to life in the 90’s, attitudes had changed and everyone was just stoked that the industry was alive again. People started getting multiple sponsors that connected other groups to each other and it became a more collaborative time where everyone started working together to help promote skateboarding as a whole instead of just themselves. And as this mentality grew to be more natural you have what exists today – an industry that anyone is welcomed into that will last forever.
It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about us.
Together we can make it happen, make it exist, make it last, make it an unstoppable force, and just plain make it reality.
It’s amazing the progression that has happened since skateboarding died. Teams do demos together, skaters compete in doubles runs with each other no matter who they’re sponsored by, and companies collaborate with one another on graphics and advertising. The competitive nature, the segregation, the independence and the ignorance of fighting the battle alone have all diminished. We look forward to the future in a positive light and work together to ensure that everything is gonna be alright.
The first line of this song says it all with “Live if you wanna Live” but that’s not the quote I am using.
This month’s Bob Marley quote comes from the song Positive Vibration off the Rastaman Vibrations album and it relates to the Rastafarian leader Haile Selassie simply referred to as Jah and how he guided a nation to be one…
“If you get down and you quarrel everyday,
You’re saying prayers to the devils, I say.
Why not help one another on the way?
Make it much easier. (Just a little bit easier)”
Are you pickin’ up on what’s being put down??