SMEB slide

Changing The World

Susan Varnes-Newland
by Susan Varnes-Newland
(Guest blogger from Grieve The Astronaut) ~ ~


SMEB “ If we really want to change the world, think about somebody else.”

As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….

I’ve always had memories of music. I imagine being a little bun in my mother’s oven, and listening to her softly singing or humming along to the radio or a church hymn. I learned to play piano at the age of 7. Participated in school choir from 1st – 12th grade. Even in college I would sing in my sorority choirs and events. When I wasn’t singing or playing music, I had it flowing into my ears. Music has been my friend, my confidant, my love and the way I communicate with God. My own children also learned instruments and sang in school and church choirs. None of us ever pursued any kind of professional career with music. You don’t have to, in order to reap the benefits. It’s there to help you heal, grow and connect with the world.


The music I listen to, definitely affects my state of mind and emotions.  I remember being a teenager  sitting in my bean bag chair, listening to music for hours, completely unaware of the world outside me. It was like coming out of a dream whenever an album ended. I would wake up and blink in confusion as to where I was. Sometimes I had been in a happy dream, sometimes it was a very dark dream. Music has that kind of impact on me. And, so do words. I interact with life on very complicated levels, so I have to be very careful about what I expose myself to.

I used to think I was really weird, and had been given a curse to live with. Now? I’m still weird, but I have come to accept that this is a beautiful gift! I don’t just listen to music, I feel it flowing throughout my body. I  have a physical connection with the musicians performing. Up until  2 years ago, I thought that they never noticed me from onstage.  However, when Heart’s drummer, Ben Smith, waved to me from onstage at The Royal Albert Hall in London,  I realized I wasn’t invisible.  Now, I know that they not only see me, they receive the energy back from my body. It helps them create music. That’s why I love my musicians, and am writing this blog. Energy creates energy, whether it be negative or positive.

I choose positive.

If We Really Want To Change The World, Think About Somebody Else!”  Mannequin Bonfire

Earlier this winter, musician Raymond Hayden starting creating Facebook Posts about SMEB. What the heck was SMEB? It definitely piqued our curiosity. Eventually it was revealed. SMEB is a comic strip style creation, with a positive and encouraging message. A collaboration between artists Raymond Hayden, Daniel Lee and Regan Lane, featured on Seattle Wave Radio. The premise behind SMEB has an actual storyline, but it is more or less a whimsical approach to to remind us all that we are a community. And we are stronger together, than alone.


The story starts “…On a routine trip to Nabiroo5  (Earth space station ) Saturn Shadow crashed on an un-inhabited planet..or so he thought. A dying alien entrusts her only child for him to take care of…SMEB. And so begins the fun, albeit unlike adventures of SMEB and Saturn Shadow.”

SMEB-strip 1

I love this approach to sharing an important message. Sometimes, we need to have reality replaced with fantasy, in order to absorb the message. Biases and prejudices are erased. Your ears are clear to listen. The media is an expert in creating conflict between us. That’s what sells. So, it is  very refreshing to hear this positive message on the internet. To remind us of the selfless love, that exists in each of us.

And it’s The Truth! I think back to horrific accidents, and how people naturally reached out to help complete strangers. I’m a skier, so I think of  the crazy chairlift accident that happened at the Gudauri Ski Resort, Georgia this past winter. According to the Russian newspaper Pravda Report, the chairlift was somehow shifted into reverse by the operator, causing a malfunction. YouTube videos show the lift hurtling passengers back towards the mountain at high speed. Some skiers jumped off, others stayed on, only to be flung into the air by the force of their chair getting whipped back around the mountain. It was horrifying to watch. However, the beautiful aspect of it all, was to see the reactions of the people on ground. Shouting at the skiers on the chairlift  to JUMP! And then rushing, to try and rescue those who were flung off at the end. These were strangers, but in that time of need, it didn’t matter. Their priority was to help a fellow human being. To try and make someone else’s life better. We see it all of the time in the news, with complete strangers reaching out to help someone who was going to die, because of the life threatening position they were in.

SMEB promo image

That is what SMEB reminds us. Our outsides may look different, but our insides are all the same. And, in the end, we really want the same things. Love, safety, acceptance. PEACE.

So, when you’re scrolling through the internet, make sure and check out SMEB on Seattle Wave Radio. Read the messages being revealed in the storyline. And, listen to the incredible local music that is being featured.

We have choices in our actions and reactions, why not choose something that can make someone else’s life better?

SMEB you make a difference

If You REALLY Want To Change The World, Think About Someone Else.

Mannequin Bonfire Think About cover
  • Regan Lane & CBB - Think About

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