I’ve been on a huge Kinks kick lately. However, I’m the first to admit that I never really listened to them beyond Lola, You Really Got Me, and rewatching Wes Anderson flicks. I’m the guy who chooses Tom Waits over Billy Joel and Elton John as well as Leonard Cohen over Scott Walker, but never the guy to choose the Kinks over Beatles or Stones. I’m not saying that’s the case necessarily now, but I’m at least giving them a fighting chance this time around.
What sparked this was seeing Wye Oak featured on the Spotify’s What’s New homescreen for their Strangers (Kinks)/Mother (Danzig) covers EP. Listening to their raw and soulful re-imagination of Strangers, a lyric jumped out of the speakers
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one
For me, this is easily one of the best lines Dave Davies ever wrote. Similar to any song, book, movie, or other piece of art I enjoy, I won’t bother to think about what the artist meant. That’ll lead to too much unnecessary debate that, in most cases, will never have an answer. Rather, I choose to reflect on what it means to me.
All too often we distance ourselves from others and don’t lend a hand. For example, Wednesday after work, I took the subway home like most days. More often than not, if anyone asks me to swipe them in after I’ve gotten off, I usually say yes. I have an unlimited pass, so it’s no loss to me if I help them out and greater help to them. In that moment, I was irritated with the amount of work I had to do over Thanksgiving, so instead of helping him out, I walked by in frustration. Immediately, I saw my life splitting into two: the one I was on and the one where I helped out that guy.
Ironically, an hour later when I went to my car, I discovered that I had a flat tire and had to buy a new one. I’m not saying that that guy knew where I lived and popped my tire; that would be completely ludicrous. However, it reminded me that the world has a way of balancing out, so I laughed instead of getting mad or crying. Those 10 seconds of helping someone else out cost me 2 hours of my time and $95 for a new tire.
We are all on the same road, so help people out in any way you can within your day to day life. Not everyone can pick up and go to New Orleans or Japan to aid in the aftermath of natural disasters or donate thousands of dollars to UNICEF. However, listen to Mr. Davies. We are one, so do something to help another even if it’s something as small as swiping someone else into the subway (but hopefully more than that). However, the real test, as Davies indicates is, “if I feel tomorrow like I feel today.”