Shawn Stockman's 'Sing-Off' Blog: A Day To Celebrate

Today is a special day for me!

Not only did we experience another incredible display of talent on “The Sing-Off, “but today, new music from my group Boyz II Men is released from our new album entitled “Twenty.”

This marks a milestone in our career making this 20 years of being a group. Most marriages don’t even last that long! This is a proud moment!

Outside of the music we’ve made through the years, I’m most grateful for what this journey has taught me so far! I was a frail, shy little guy when I first came out, an introvert to some degree. The only friends I had were my group members, which, with some exceptions, is still the truth.

But what this experience has done was force me into situations where I had to shed my skin, be more assertive, change from being a boy to a man.

Part of that growth I owe to my father Thurman Sanders, who, not through his triumphs, but through his mistakes, and how he dealt with them and his candor with me about them, I witnessed who is to me one of the greatest men I’ve ever seen! I tell this one story a lot because it, in my mind, is one of the most profound moments in my younger life!

I was sitting at home one Friday night watching TV on the couch. My father on Fridays never comes home till late because he takes his normal trip to the local lounge where he has a few drinks and relaxes! This night, he comes home a bit inebriated. Now, I’m normally used to my dad having impromptu convos with me about pretty much everything — school, his job, sex, the whole nine. At times, they can be pretty embarrassing, but tonight was different.

My dad comes walking in slowly, even when he was drunk he was never sloppy, and he plops down on the couch next to me. He tells me to make him another drink, his favorite, Windsor whiskey with three ice cubes and a bit of water. I come back from the kitchen with his drink and as he sips it, he gives me a smile of approval. Just right. We watch TV a bit and then he turns to me and says: “Son, as you go through life you’re going to mess up!” (He actually used a word that starts with a f and ends with a k).

“You’re going to do things that may hurt someone emotionally! You are GOING to make mistakes!”

I didn’t know how to take what he was saying to me. I was flabbergasted, and somewhat disturbed! Until he leaned closer to me and said, “With all that you will do, and you WILL do it, it is NOT the end of the world! Get up when you fall, dust your shoulders off, and try again!”

He finished his drink, gave me the empty glass with half melted ice cubes, and went upstairs to bed. I sat there with the TV playing in the background of my thoughts of what he said. And he changed me. Changed my thinking.

I was always the type that tries to please everyone. Even now still to some degree. But I found equanimity in understanding that when all falls down, I start the healing process by not panicking, but generating the state of mind that only maturity, wisdom, and understanding brings! I thought the idea of life was to go through it unbruised, to do everything right and make everybody happy! So far, I’ve learned the opposite! A shower is for the dirty. And I really do enjoy the sunlight more right after a thunderstorm! Life is pain AND pleasure, sadness AND happiness! U can’t have one without the other. It’s what teaches us to appreciate what’s around us. And I’m so glad to say I’ve enjoyed my life thus far of experiencing a little bit of ALL of it!

These are the things that change boys to men!!

- SHAWN

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