Search
  • Sue Schleifer

Lean On Me


Recently I’ve discovered a podcast, that I can’t get enough of, called “Soul Music.” In each approximately 30 minute episode, they highlight one song in which a few people talk about the influence the song has had on their lives.

One episode that I especially enjoyed focused on the Bill Withers’ song, “Lean on Me.”

Here are some of the lyrics:

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow. But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.

Lean on me when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on. For it won’t be long ‘til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.

And then:

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on. I just might have a problem that you’ll understand, we all need somebody to lean on.

At some times in our lives, we all need someone to lean on. It is not always easy to call out to a friend, coach, psychologist, or a family member and yet that can make a big difference in helping us to move forward and feel supported.

For me, it is not only people whom I reach out to when I feel sad, angry, in need of solace or inspiration. I also seek out music, theater, and long walks. I’m sure you have your own go-to methods for both taking care of yourself and getting unstuck.

The writer Kazuo Ishiguro in his Nobel Prize in Literature lecture said, “I have... learned crucial lessons from the voices of singers. I refer here less to the lyrics being sung, and more to the actual singing. As we know, a human voice in song is capable of expressing an unfathomably complex blend of feelings.... Catching something in their voices, I’ve said to myself: ‘Ah yes, that’s it. That’s what I need to capture in that scene. Something very close to that.’ Often it’s an emotion I can’t quite put into words, but there it is, in the singer’s voice, and now I’ve been given something to aim for.”

Where do you find inspiration and support?