The world is full of problems: hunger, poverty, disease, abuse, intolerance, destruction of the environment, homicide, suicide, genocide, entire nations at war with each other, and so much more that brings pain and suffering to the world. But this is not the saddest part. What I find to be the most bizarre and mind-boggling is that all of us sympathize with at least one of these problems. We can all tell that something is wrong. We all want an end to these problems. We all feel that something must be done.
But how many people will actually do something?
The thing about people is that they can see suffering on their TV’s, they can read about it in the news, they can even be a spectator of it on the street, but very rarely will they cast a second glance after thinking, “Oh, how awful!” before continuing on their way. The problem is not that people are insensitive – for the most part everyone will feel something after witnessing a tragedy – the problem is that most people do not think of how much their actions can make a difference. Continue reading
Sometimes life is heavy. It presses down on your back, compresses your chess, constricts your throat, and pushes down on your temples, like a large, calloused, relentless fist. Maybe life has added something to the weight, thrown something at you that was unexpected or unwanted. But it seems to me that the weight is heaviest when it takes something away from you, something that you didn’t realize was actually keeping you up on your feet. Sorrow does not crush you instantaneously like rage, or dangle above your head guilt. It is a load that drags behind you, making sure that you are always looking back and never ahead. Eventually, this load may become a part of you, some extra piece of luggage that you must take with you everywhere you go. Is there any way to rid ourselves of this weight? The struggle to stay afloat in a world that seems to be trying to drag you down is beautifully detailed in the Beatles’ medley “Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight/the End”, an eloquent and insightful conclusion to Abbey Road, the final album that they would record together. Continue reading
There are many reasons to make music. Music can be a voice for those who otherwise are not heard. People are inspired to write music to express emotions of frustration, joy, melancholy, and loss. But above all, there seems to be one emotion that makes people want to sing and dance more than any other. It’s love. Love is one of the most powerful drivers of creativity, and amongst all of those who have been the source of inspiration for love songs there are few that are more powerful than those written for Pattie Boyd, who inspired not one but two of the greatest musicians of recent times: George Harrison and Eric Clapton. A true story of love, friendship, desperation, and betrayal; something of a scandal that resulted in the creation of what have been deemed by some to be a few of the greatest love songs of all time. Continue reading
There will always be conflict in world, whether over resources, political views, religion, or our physical differences, but there is also always a solution. The question is, if there is always a solution that avoids conflict, then why do people continue to fight wars? To persecute one another? To kill over our problems rather than reason them out like civilized human beings? The legendary Fab Four discuss the many reasons why people are unwilling to peacefully cooperate with each other in their timeless classic, “We Can Work it Out”. Released in 1965, “We Can Work it Out” initially appears to be about a couple’s struggles in their relationship but has since grown to be a song that portrays a message of love and tolerance, teaching that there is always hope for a peaceful solution to conflict. Continue reading