Sam Smith – During four decades, most while engaged in journalism in Washington, I played in jazz bands. I recommend this to any journalist who finds their work over-stressful. But the other thing I came to realize was that jazz was also a metaphor for the sort of democracy we still hadn’t achieved.
After all, many musicians get to solo but have to spend the rest of the tune backing up other players. This blend of individualism and mutual support is what democracy is also about. A major cause of our current crisis is that we have turned this blend into a conflict.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Playing jazz, I found other players to be pleasant and cooperative and you were glad to help them when it was their solo because you knew they would do the same for you. Well functioning communities are much the same because their citizens know how to solo but also back up others.