“I hear the human race is fallin’ on its face and hasn’t very far to go
but every whip-poor-will is selling me a bill and telling me it just ain’t so.”
from the song A Cockeyed Optimist, South Pacific, Rodgers and Hammerstein
When I was home last week for the holidays, my closest group of friends (the Dudleys, Davises and Menefees) got together as we have been doing for over 20 years now. The joy, comfort, conviviality and LOVE that always encompasses us is almost overwhelming. Of course, as happens when good friends come together, we set out to solve the world’s problems. And at the center of our particular discussions, Jimmy Davis generally tends to find something deep and philosophical to expound upon, always hitting the point on the head. “I tell you,” said Jimmy this year, “if we are going to have a future, the only thing that is going to save us is love – and that is love not of ourselves, but loving everyone else more than ourselves.” So simple. So true. Yet many of us tend to approach the world’s problems with our hands thrown up in the air. “If we spend time loving and not hating,” Jimmy continued, “the world will change in an instant!” There it was. Love. Present in every religion, every piece of great literature and in every heart – no matter how scarred.
You’ll not find me quoting the Bible very often, but chapter 13 from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is a well-known passage that is often used at the altar in Western weddings. “Love is patient, love is kind,” wrote Paul, and hundreds of years later, couples are marrying under its edict, to love one another without condition. I think if you read it closely, however, the love in Paul’s letter is broader than that between two people. It refers to a kind of love that can extend throughout everyone.
I began to realize that due to many factors, this little thing called the internet included, we have become a world of individuals and not of communities – and certainly not a one-world community. We can’t care for our neighbors because we don’t know our neighbors. More and more, our societal ways are turning us inward and we have more and more opportunities to isolate ourselves, take care of only ourselves and not care for the people in the world around us. We have become a society of “Me First! Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” (like the popular band with a similar name).
On this New Year let us strive to be the first to smile, the first to say hello, the first to reach out and lend a helping hand to a stranger, the first to be grateful for the blessings we have, the first to forgive, and indeed the first to love. This is not a new concept, but it is definitely one that we need to keep in the forefront of our consciousness.
As serendipity would have it, as I sat down to write this, another life-long friend, Trevor Richardson, sent me a link that I’d love to share with you. It is a solid demonstration of love and how it can spread around the world. Simple, effective, moving and most of all, soul lifting – all conceived through love and caring for something larger than the self. I hope you enjoy it.
An introduction to the project: http://www.wimp.com/choirvoices/
The finished product: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WhWDCw3Mng
Happy, peaceful and love-filled New Year my friends.
The Secret Ingredient: Love