I’ll only retire when they put me in a pine box. Ozzy Osbourne.
As a self proclaimed rocker, I’m a huge fan of Ozzy Osbourne’s creations. His songs with Black Sabbath spoke to my soul in my teen years and as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to prefer his ballads. Among my favorites are Mama I’m coming home and his duet with Lita Ford, If I closed my eyes forever.
It’s often been said that we are to take what we need and leave the rest when it comes to life’s lessons and the mentoring I’ve received from Ozzy is definitely no exception. Though many of his well publicized antics are somewhat less than admirable in my view, he has taught me some valuable lessons about being a man.
I don’t know Ozzy the man, other than the media’s portrayal of him but his musical creations have definitely changed the world forever and continue to do so. As a fan I am happy to hear that he will continue to share his gifts with us until they plant him in the ground. From my perspective, he appears to be a man who is pretty clear about what he came here to do and believes he was meant to continue doing it as long as he’s here.
In other words he knows his purpose and his mission in life.
As a recovering man, I also feel like I’ve shared some common struggles with him and I honor him for speaking out about his own shadows. It helped me to overcome a lot of self sabotaging emotions along my own journey.
His commitment to never stop with his mission as he sees it has caused me to take inventory of my own life. When I let go of my own judgments about what’s socially acceptable or politically correct in our less than perfect culture I’m able to catch the golden balls that Ozzy is tossing to me. Here are three of them.
1. Embrace Your Inner Wildman. Every struggle that I’ve faced in my life has spawned from my ego’s attempt to tame that which is my true nature or my resistance to society’s attempt to tame me. As men we were taught to play it safe, seek security, and hold back our emotions with the promise that there would be some pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Instead, all we have done is given away our power. We live with the delusion that we are somehow the exception to the rules of nature. Instead of entering our final season as kings and sages, we limp out to the pasture of oblivion and watch from the sidelines as our sons and grandsons repeat our mistakes.
2. If everybody likes me I’m serving nobody. I spent the majority of my life worrying about what others thought of me and ultimately created a personal brand that served no one. I happen to believe that, like Ozzy, we were all put here to serve the world in our own unique way. If we’re doing it right we’re going to piss some people off. If you don’t have haters you don’t have shit. A man with a purpose must have the courage to look his enemies in the eye and not blink.
3. My mission isn’t complete until I draw my last breath. Imagine what the world would be like if we felt like Ozzy about our jobs? The retirement planners would all be out of work but, so what? Maybe they’d discover they were sent here for another reason too. What if the elder men were valued in our culture like they are in most other cultures? What if their life’s purpose was to mentor the boys as they made their way to their own rites of passage to manhood? There would probably be a lot less nursing homes, golf courses, and retirement communities. Maybe there would also be a lot less rapes, murders, and suicides from angry men who were never taught what it means to be a man.
ROCK ON OZZY!
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