We Didn’t Start the Fire

Maureen and I Billy Joel at Madison Square Gardenwere able to attend the on-going concert series with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden in NYC with our friends.  Billy has been playing once a month at MSG for over a year and will continue to perform as long as the shows continue to sell-out.  It will probably be awhile if his recent show is any indication.

Maureen and I grew up on Long Island where Billy was raised.  For Long Islanders, Billy Joel is our equivalent to the way our friends in New Jersey view Bruce Springsteen.   One of our own who did well and represents who we are.

During the awesome show, Billy performed many of his numerous hits including “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.  The words help explain the view that I have continued to preach to my clients and in this blog.  Here is a sample of the lyrics.

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and Roller Cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on and on and on and on
And on and on and on and on…

When the media focuses on today’s problems, we can have the tenacity to believe that things were calm before us.  The belief is that somehow it is different now.

These lyrics teach us that the world has always had problems that we have been able to overcome in the past and will overcome our problems in the future.  If one begins to understand the human condition in the correct context, it becomes clear that we will always have challenges to overcome.  The need is to place the burdens in a different light.

What would updated lyrics focus on today?  ISIS, terrorism, Ebola, Ukraine, Obamacare, the declining European continent, and on and on..

Billy would be able to consistently update the lyrics but the message would be the same.   Problems have been with us since the world has been turning.  Let’s not only focus on the problems but continue to remember all of the tremendous progress that we have made to date and will continue to make across the world.  Remember humans have been able to overcome major obstacles before and always will.

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About Dan Crimmins

Dan Crimmins, co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management, is a financial coach and fee only financial planner. Have a financial question? ASK DAN

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One Response to We Didn’t Start the Fire

  1. S. Chris Tobin February 27, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    Dear Dan,
    Great article…even though I am not a Long Islander- I love Billy Joel and this song especially. Good insights! Tina

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