"Se una voce miracolosa non avesse interpretato nel 1967 La Canzone di Marinella, con tutta probabilita' avrei terminato gli studi in legge per dedicarmi all'avvocatura. Rigrazio Mina per aver truccato le carte a mio favore e soprattutto a vantaggio dei miei virtuali assistiti." 
Fabrizio DE ANDRÈ 

"If a miraculous voice hadn't interpreted in 1967 La Canzone di Marinella, in  all probability I would have completed my degree in Jurisprudence to dedicate my career to the bar. I thank Mina for having tricked destiny's cards in my favour and especially to the advantage of my virtual assisted ones." 
Fabrizio DE ANDRÈ 

Fabrizio De Andrè was, and still is, one of the most charismatic Italian singer-songwriters or, as I prefer to call him, our musical poet of the 20th century. I could define him as the Italian equivalent of Leonard Cohen, but that wouldn't be fair on him because he can't really be compared. He is a unique artist. Nonetheless, my anthology at school contained works by both artists, but that is by the by. We share the same native city and I grew up with his music even before I could understand the message behind some of his songs. Wisdom, poetry and beauty are timeless, I guess. If I were to get the final question "what's your last wish before you die?", my answer would be to listen to my favourite song from his repertoire, which comes from the "Anthology of Spoon River". 

When I read the quote by Fabrizio, which is reported above, I could not help thinking how crucial it is to be myself in life. At times we all struggle to actually be authentic when faced with outside pressures. We also try to do things that can be useful to others or we may feel powerless and too small to hope we can make a difference in the world. And yet, all the world requires from us is that we be ourselves and that we do the very thing that makes us come alive! 

This story is proof that we do have an impact and that it is important never to forget that! Which is what Mina, another huge musical talent from my country of origin, did. Mina is probably the greatest pop singer Italy has ever produced, and in the 60s she came across one of Fabrizio's songs when he was still trying to fulfil his family's expectations of becoming a barrister. The very act of just doing the most natural thing to her, singing, had caused an awakening into someone else's life. And I am glad to say that just by being herself she prevented a musical genius from being chewed up by conformity. And so Fabrizio De Andrè decided to honour his natural talents to the joy of millions of people and became a national heritage! I am moved by this because I am myself a casualty of circumstances with regards to my natural talents and have unwillingly fought most of my life to keep the artist in me repressed for the sake of heaven knows what! 

Reading and thinking of his struggles as lived in the NOW but with the benefit of hindsight, helps me keep my quirky way of life in perspective. I admit I still struggle with the internal "mind forged manacles" (to put it like Blake) that tends to judge my more authentic self at times - though I am conscious that it is not the real me that induces me to feel under scrutiny but the chatterbox of mental colonisation we all receive when growing up. And this, I guess, is the real reason why I am now serving a career in personal development, looking to share with others the things I have learned and applied in my life, in order to inspire others to live more authentically and in line with their own values. 


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