What Do I Know?

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As a blog writer and content creator, this is a question I ask myself often enough. What do I know? However, for the purpose of this entry, I cannot claim to be responsible for creation of the title. Indebted to Ed Sheeran’s newest album, Divide (÷), I consider its use more of a homage to his work rather than theft of his ideas. In searching for inspiration for More Good Deeds, I often turn to my own life. And since March 7th of this year, most of my days have been filled with Britain’s favourite ginger-haired rapper. The lyrics of ‘What Do I Know?’ have therefore been spiraling through my mind for a month now and I felt it was high time I gave them the lofty stage they deserve and dedicate a blog to them.

For those of you who have been living beneath a rock for the past month, or simply don’t keep up to date when it comes to modern music (most of the time I don’t blame you in the slightest for this), the YouTube video for Ed’s song which I’m about to discuss is embedded at the bottom of this blog. Onto the song itself. Firstly, I like the title because I think it’s a question a lot of people from my generation have been asking. Most of us have been to university, even obtained Masters and yet we’re still floundering through life without a clearly defined career path. Unlike our parents, few of us studied something related to our future job field and university and are now questioning really what we know and how we can apply our knowledge in any useful sense. Ed Sheeran has vocalised, pun intended, his lack of university education in a number of songs. Clearly this absence from his CV hasn’t done his life any disservice however, which is fundamentally what ‘What Do I Know?’ is about. He might not have a degree but he’s happy and making an upbeat difference in the world.

The song puts a great deal of emphasis on how music can not only make the player happy but can also have a positive impact on society. Well, for Ed it is music which makes him happy. Symbolically, however, he is encouraging people to do what they love, to fill their lives with positivity and happiness. By looking at some of the lyrics within ‘What Do I Know?’ this message becomes a little clearer. As with most mainstream (sorry, Ed) artists, the majority of his songs are about love and relationships and the repeated chorus lyric in this song is:

Love can change the world in a moment
But what do I know?

Although this could be seen as referring to just a couple, I’d like to believe the sentiment was intended for a wider meaning. Yes, being in love can change an individual’s outlook on their life but it can also have a much broader impact. Our media portrays the world as a place full of hate. Whether you’re hearing about terrorist attacks or wars or even the many, many, many (justified) articles about a certain President at the moment, there is so much negativity in the press that, inevitably, people begin to perceive the world in a less than stellar light. We become convinced the majority of the world is evil, or at least unloving. And yet, Ed reminds us that if we all changed our attitudes towards one another, the world would be a much happier place. Cliché perhaps and unrealistic, no matter how well the album has sold, but the point is, we all have the power within us to make a difference, to make a change for the better and to improve not only our own lives but the lives of those around us.

So how does Ed suggest we make this improvements? Well:  

We could change this whole world with a piano
Add a bass, some guitar, grab a beat and away we go

Now I gave up piano lessons when I was fourteen, have never played bass or guitar, can keep a steady beat but never learnt to drum and am an atrocious singer. So I highly doubt me taking this advice is going to make anyone happier. In fact, it will probably do the opposite. It makes Ed happy, though, and his millions of fans. Perhaps taking the word of a successful musician on this is a warped view but the sentiment is there. And I think I’m taking the advice a little too literally. But it is undeniable that the album which has provided the soundtrack to my ten hour writing days for the past month has made me happy. With the exception of ‘Supermarket Flowers’; that one just makes me sad. But music is a powerful emotional stimulant, both positively and negatively. Perhaps the world really would be a happier place if everyone picked up a guitar and began jamming together …

It’s not all about playing music, however, and I think Ed’s most important message in ‘What Do I Know?’ is this:

You know, the future's in the hands of you and me
So let's all get together, we can all be free
Spread love and understanding, positivity

I’d love it if everyone reading this blog clicked on the link to the song I’ve just been harping on about. It’s a fun, catchy and generally upbeat melody but also a song which has a great message behind it, if you take the time to listen to the lyrics. Another reason I love this song is that I’m fairly sure it’s the only piece of music in the world to have included the words ‘exponential growth’ in the lyrics. This itself is musical mastery and one which should be applauded. I’ll leave you now to listen to Ed and think about how you could show a little bit of love, understanding and positivity in your day today. Don’t forget to post about any good deeds you perform in the More Good Deeds app to both inspire others and to earn $1 for your chosen charity.

Go. Do. Experience. More Good Deeds.