I believe all the world’s loneliness and bitterness and cruelty would disappear if everyone had just one person who cherished them.

Jenny and I sang in “The Messiah” two years ago. We thought it would be a fun thing to do together. Usually, she’s the one performing while I sit in the crowd and watch her. This time, though, we would perform together. We went to practice together, got ready together and went to the performance together.

That’s when we realized “it.” While everyone else would have loved ones (spouses, parents) in the crowd watching “just them,” no one would be there to watch “just us.”

When I perform at a 4-H event, Jenny’s watching me. When she performs at a singing event or a ballgame or a track meet, I’m watching her. With both of us in “The Messiah,” there was no one left to watch. Sure, we would be one of the group of performers, and, occasionally, people’s eyes would peruse the entire choir, but in reality, people would be watching who they came to watch. Realizing that kind of took the fun out of performing.

Wil recently sang with 300 music students from across Southern Illinois in a concert in Edwardsville, but as far as I was concerned, he gave a solo…and if you’d ask the other 500 parents there, they’d agree their kids performed alone as well … because for most of the concert, my eyes didn’t stray off Wil. And trust me, he noticed. Kids notice when you’re there and when you’re not. I could see him scan the crowd prior to the performance until he found me in the crowd. Then he smiled, his shoulders relaxed and all was well with the world.

Someone was there to watch “just him.” Jenny scolded me for not sitting in my usual seat at the last basketball game because she couldn’t see me when she sang the National Anthem.

People sometimes ask why I go to every ball game and every musical performance and every 4-H event my children are in. The answer is simple; everyone deserves to have someone in the crowd who’s looking just at them.

Everyone deserves to be someone’s someone.

And if everyone was someone’s someone, loneliness wouldn’t exist.

And, without loneliness, bitterness would disappear. And when people stop being bitter, they stop being cruel. Alas, to solve the world’s heartache, we simply need to make sure everyone has someone to cherish them.

I believe it’s that simple.
I really, really do.
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