There Comes a Time

This past weekend, my wife and I watched a documentary on the making of We Are the World. The song that raised millions of dollars for African famine relief. To date, it has sold over 20 million copies and is the ninth best selling single of all-time. It was a mammoth effort to bring dozens of the most popular performers together, under one roof after the American Music Awards on January 25, 1985. In a pre-internet, pre cellphone age, the coordination of such an event were staggering. The song’s producer, Quincey Jones put a handwritten sign over the entrance to the recording studio which said, “Leave your egos at the door.” They did and what occurred that night was truly magical.

All this begs the obvious question dear Tribe of Up friends…What is your cause? What is your one thing, that if you really gave it your best effort could make a lasting mark on this world? The first two lines of that song, beautifully written by Lionel Richie and the late Michael Jackson say it all. “There comes a time, when we heed a certain call.” What is our call my friends?

This little experiment called the Tribe of Up has a very simple call. To advocate for more joy. If these 750 words each week and the podcasts that accompany this article (Spotify, Tribe of Up) can only accomplish a single thing, then I hope my call is to bring a little more joy into this world, one article at a time, one podcast at a time. By making us think, appreciate, admire, and sculpt a kinder and happier world. My wife and I were in awe watching this. I am old enough to remember watching the AMA’s that night. An oblivious teenager to the undercurrent of the evening and what was to happen after the awards show was over. Many mega stars waited in the recording studio for hours to sing a single line, all in the name of helping strangers thousands of miles away. So, I will ask again, what is your call?

In this writer’s humble opinion, we can start with being kind to everyone we meet. We can choose kindness over bitterness. Happy over sad. Being correct in our actions more than trying to convince others of our opinions. Turning off and tuning out the negative and feeding our minds with positive, uplifting things. I am not naïve enough to think that these simple actions can change the world. But I am absolutely naïve enough to believe that they can change our little corner of it. From there, who knows? Here is my song. Let’s find out. Let’s just see if we can shout down the negative with positive.

There comes a time. My friends, that time is now. The place is wherever you are. The what is to advocate for more joy every single chance we can. The why is well, why not? What is the alternative? To let rude, polarizing dividers carve up what is left of our society? I am a sucker for a great happy ending story. I do believe good will always triumph over evil. Sometimes, that requires a great deal of effort. Who here is afraid of a little work? We can do it. To advocate for more joy. That is our mission statement, dear friends. There comes a time. It is time to get to it. The world needs us. Our communities need us. Make the deposits and let’s just see how our world looks after we choose happy and up over the negative alternatives. We are the world indeed!

Steve Gwisdalla is a Dexter resident and the Owner, Chief Up Officer, Vice President of Happy, and Chairperson of the Joy Advocates at Better Place Consulting, a success coaching and talent acquisition company. If you need help finding your voice to sing your song, reach out to him at

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