This is not a good day to watch the news.
As the votes get cast and counted throughout the United States, it is hard for most of us to resist the temptation to tune into the constant “breaking news” as media pundits engage in minute by minute mostly irrelevant guesswork about who is surging ahead in the polls.
To help you spend your time elsewhere as we wait for the results, I thought I would share some of the videos I’ve been watching recently to help distract me from the noise and to help elevate my mood and optimism for the future.
Hopefully they might help you do the same.
1. The West Wing Reinvented
It has been 17 years, but a few weeks ago HBO came back with a stage version of one of the best episodes from the iconic show and a video editor masterfully cut it together with the original for this fantastic episode that will remind you about the optimistic power of democracy and why the idea of America has always been such a source of inspiration.
2. Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution
Hearing Tracy Chapman sing “poor people gonna rise up” in her recent performance of her hit song for the Late Night With Seth Meyers is a powerful reminder of the importance of voting. Her battle cry has only become more relevant over time.
3. High Hopes – Walk Off the Earth + Gabby Bee
Leave it to a combination of Canadian artists to remind all of us about the joyful power of having “high hopes” in this fun cover version of the original hit song from Panic! At The Disco. This is a song and performance that will definitely make you feel just a little bit better – as most of the videos from Walk Off The Earth manage to do for me.
4. This Is Us – Greatest Showman
This rehearsal version of the popular song “This Is Me” has gone viral for the transformation you can watch happen with singer Keala Settle as she leans into the song and overcomes her initial reluctance to really let go. Even more powerful is a moment that I have spoken about in several of my virtual talks where one of the singers stands up at 2:18 and adds an energetic performance of his solo while standing on a chair. That’s the moment the entire emotion of the video and the cast changes, and it comes from one backup singer offering a spark to the entire ensemble. You can watch it happen in real time.
More than anything else, I describe this as an inspiration for all of us to try and be the person who stands on a chair at the right moment. During a contested and divisive election time in the US, and a time of global anxiety about the result everywhere else, this ability to lean on one another is going to be even more important.
That might be the only thing that can keep us sane on a day that conspires to make us crazy.