As a Bruce Springsteen fan, the movie Blinded By The Light that hit theaters last month was required viewing. Inspired by the life of co-writer Sarfraz Manzoor, the movie tells the story of a teenage boy who becomes inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen.
I can relate.
However, our stories are quite different. The protagonist in the movie, Javed, is a British-Pakistani Muslim living in Luton, England and the movie is set, initially, in 1987. He doesn’t fit in and has a strained relationship with his father. He is isolated being one of the few Pakistani students in his school and is picked on incessantly by other kids in the neighborhood. He has it pretty rough, to say the least.
Then, he meets Roops a fellow Pakistani student in his school. Roops slides two Bruce tapes, Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born in the USA, across the table in the school cafeteria and utters a line I wish I had written.
Again, I can relate.
While Javed didn’t immediately listen to the tapes, his story and his life turns around as soon as he does. Roops immediately becomes his best friend, talking about Bruce and his lyrics. He is empowered in a way he wasn’t before. Not because of the music. That certainly helped, but the real power came in finding a friend and finding his tribe. The empowerment grew, his confidence grew, and his tribe grew.
He finds others that are dealing with the same issues and immediately connects with them. Some are Bruce fans, others aren’t (yet). He connects with a teacher, an older man in the neighborhood, and most importantly a cute girl his class. They all encourage his writing which propels his confidence and brings him to New Jersey as the winner of a writing contest, much to the chagrin of his father.
I won’t spoil the ending, but as movies tend to, it has a happy ending.
The lesson for young brokers is to find your tribe! Find others with similar interests or those who are in a similar career stage. If you can’t find someone like that, just find someone else who needs a tribe too.
What struck me throughout the movie and the days after was the strength and power I have taken from my tribe throughout the years. Luckily, it’s diverse with friends and families that I can call upon in good times and challenging times equally. And yes, there’s part of my tribe that can completely relate to finding all of life’s lessons and meanings in the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen.
In any business, getting started isn’t easy. It’s a roller coaster ride with ups and downs and lots of sharp turns. Having others who can relate and who can lift you up can make all the difference. Sometimes, all it can take is a friend who shares the right song at the right time.
If you need a little lift when times get tough, just remember, as Bruce says, “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive!”