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Personal development is an essential aspect of everyone's life. It is an identification that is a continuous phase of learning and cultivating oneself with the aim of achieving goals and reaching one's maximum potential. Personal progress is a vital aspect that influences a person's maturity and satisfaction. As a consequence, it acts as the cornerstone for intellectual, emotional, moral, and physical wellbeing. However, some people struggle with their identity and have difficulty forming relationships not just with themselves but also with others around them. It is vital to understand that personal growth involves striking a balance between all life events and living a productive life that appeals to everyone. This paper will delve into the analysis of the songs Man in the mirror, 7 years, Landslide and Change and indicate how they attest to the theme of personal growth.
Man in the Mirror by Michaels Jackson
This song talks about making a change in one's life and realizing that the change needed in the world starts with you. The song figuratively relates to personal growth and indicates that the need to bring transformation in the world is a personal decision. The line that evidences this from the song is “I'm starting with the man in the mirror; I'm asking him to change his ways” (Jackson). Self-awareness and consciousness are signifying in personal identity in attempts to impact the world. The powerful message embedded in this song is depicted from the beginning where Jackson says, “I'm gonna make a change; For once in my life; It's gonna feel real good; Gonna make a difference; Gonna make it right” (Jackson). The song opens up with a decision to transform and portrays that in moments when someone is facing pressing challenges, a critical decision has to be made, which is a vital factor for personal growth.
Identity starts with having confidence and caring for other people. In the second stanza, the song reads “As I, turn up the collar on I see the kids in the streets; With not enough to eat; Who am I to be blind? Pretending not to see their needs” (Jackson). Endeavors to realize personal identity involve encountering sad moments and being broken, but these situations should only be learning lessons. This is evident from the lines “A summer's disregard, a broken bottle top; And one man's soul” (Jackson). Notably, the song simply says that life is about facing the ups and downs, but change will only be recognized if one embraces these moments. It is all about being introspective for personal development. Everyone has to analyze him or herself to uncover the strengths and weaknesses to drive better changes. The power of the song is also seen in the words, “I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love; It's time that I realize; That there are some with no home….” (Jackson). It is vital to love yourself, but it is not all about you and that there is a lot outside the selfish zone. Everything one has is a blessing that should be shared with others.
7 years by Graham Lukas
Personal growth and identity are also depicted in the song 7 years which explains how the life moments pass within a blink of an eye. Dreams become realities and recall the boundless situations that progress with age. It is a manifestation of satisfactory life when one looks behind and comprehends that he or she has accomplished what was hoped. Through the years of the protagonist, the person has undergone a lot of personal development. In the first stanza, the song says “Once I was seven years old; my mama told me Go make yourself some friends, or you'll be lonely" (Graham). This only shows how it is significant to make friends for one to grow. It was a big world to the singer, and the friends that surrounded him enabled the protagonist to learn many things in life. The friends we have also influence our lives. At the age of eleven, they began smoking marijuana and drink liquor and defined their identity at that age. Growth entails believing in goals and resisting failure because, as the song says, “I know the smallest voices, they can make it major” (Graham). At twenty and thirty years, the person writes the story of his or her life because they are the prime ages of life. Personal identity is an ongoing process, and an individual learns throughout life even as we grow old. The singer says that when he is sixty, he should be able to remember how good his life was. The decision one makes in life determines how he or she will view life when he is sixty. He says that “Soon I'll be sixty years old, will I think the world is cold; Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me? (Graham). The repletion in the song and the tone used emphasize the need to make the right decisions in life.
Landslide by the Dixie Chicks
Landslide is a remarkable song with an underlining theme of personal growth that comes from life changes. The protagonist in this song at first wonders if she can handle the changes happening around her. Indeed, changes in life are inevitable, and according to the song, an individual should develop a capacity to encounter all these changes to grow. The singer says that “Well, I've been afraid of changing; ‘Cause I built my life around you; But time makes you bolder” (Dixie). Here, the person comes to understand that changes are a part of life and make one strong. Landslide is a reflection of bittersweet relationships that an individual experiences and emphasizes that fear for change is detrimental to development. The singer wants to be loved and accepted by friends and family. As time passes, one grows stronger and moves away from the innocence while at the same time develops independence. Dixie singer says “Can the child within my heart rise above; Can I sail through the changing ocean tides; Can I handle the seasons of my life” (Dixie). This strongly alludes to the profound questions encountered in the quest for identity.
Change by Taylor Swift
Also, this song elucidates to growth and identity. The singer stipulates that she is tired of being held back and not getting whatever she deserves. For this reason, the protagonist opts to fight back hard to determine her destiny. Vividly, the song attests that she desires to change and attain goals. The lyrics “We’re getting stronger now; Find things they never found; They might be bigger; But we’re faster and never scared” (Swift) are an encouragement that growth and change should not be feared.
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A wise person will continually reflect and integrate on life events and actions defining individual identity. Every person should take time to hear and answer questions that emerge from the internal experiences, while at the same time embrace the changes that come with life. Our identity is also shaped by people who surround us, and nothing substitutes the sense of direction and focus in life. In fact, one has to wake up in the morning and know that change in the world starts with him or her.
Dixie Chicks. Landslide. Robynn’s corner (2014). http://robynnscorner.949starcountry.com/story-behind/january-14-2014-the-story-behind-landslide-by-the-dixie-chicks/. (Accessed on September 10, 2017).
Graham Lukas. 7 years. A-Z Lyrics. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/lukasgraham/7years.html (Accessed on September 10, 2017).
Michael Jackson. Man In The Mirror. A-Z Lyrics. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/michaeljackson/maninthemirror.html. (Accessed on September 10, 2017).
Swift Taylor. Change. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/taylorswift/change.html. (Accessed on September 10, 2017).
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