As a mother, I am deeply aware of what it is like to raise a child in this world. While each generation faces challenges, it truly seems that children today face far more challenges than previous generations during the years I have been alive. Each child brings with him/her unique gifts and qualities to contribute to our world. But for a child to recognize and develop their gifts they need support from the adults around them.
“Please Listen” was inspired by the documentary “Safety,” the story of Ray McElrathbey who was drafted by the NCAA Division 1 Clemson Football team, and his then 11-year-old brother Fahmarr. When Ray went off to college, his little brother was left alone with his drug-addicted mother. His drug-addicted father was out of the picture. And when his mother was taken away from treatment, Fahmarr was left all alone. Ray valiantly and courageously took a bus all the way home to get his little brother and bring him to Clemson so he could look out for him, even though having a child at college was not allowed. Ray won over the football team and its coaches, who helped him find a way to get a place to live so Fahmarr could go to school and have a semblance of a normal childhood. Ray worked tirelessly playing football, doing his school work, and working at a job to make ends meet, and eventually filed court papers to become Fahmarr’s legal guardian/parent, even though he was only a college student himself.
“Please Listen” is written in Fahmarr’s voice, a child wise beyond his years but still very much a child. The song helps us connect viscerally with the importance of listening to and attending to a child’s emotional needs. “Please Listen” is on Linda’s 2023 Everyday Legends album, an album dedicated to our children.