It is hard to believe it has been 35 years since Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote and recorded this popular song back in 1985. At this very moment, every one of us here alive makes up the world as we know it. So yes, we are the world! In spite of all our many differences, we are one big family of human beings. In our current environment, we realize that there is much that divides us but we should not allow the bad to overshadow the good. As Michael and Lionel wrote in the lyrics, “There comes a time when the world must come together as one.” I wonder what would it take for us to actually join forces and act as God’s great big family.
Would death and dying motivate us to act? There are people starving all around the world right now and there are certainly many people who could make a huge difference if the compassion was there. There are young children suffering, some being captured and trafficked by wicked scoundrels right now that needs saving. Where is the great outcry! Yes, many are sounding the alarm but is it registering among the human family? There are countless issues that require the world’s attention, but are we listening?
Many of us have almost become numb to the needs of our fellow human beings. There are so many issues that you wouldn’t know where to start. We seem to be waiting on someone else to address them or someone to lead us? Do we actually realize how urgent matters are? Every moment we’re waiting, our fellow human beings are dying. Are we to just go on pretending things will get better knowing that personally we are not doing much to help with the situation?
I’m blaming anyone in particular because either we care enough to do something or we don’t? There are plenty of excuses to go around but while we wait lives are at stake. What does that tell us about ourselves? Even though there are various groups and organizations that take on such missions, it doesn’t appear to be a clarion call from the populace. The severity of the needs seems to outweigh the urgency of the help. Unless you have been without food or shelter or been abused by a predator, or just lost your way and find yourself in dire straights, you will not feel any urgency. We would like to think that as fellow human beings we feel something for each other. Yes, there are many people tackling a multitude of issues people are facing. Their hearts and compassion should not be overlooked. Society owes them a debt of gratitude for doing things we are not doing. However, not everyone considers themselves to be their brother and sister’s, keeper.
I could be wrong but it appeared to have been a time when there were more love and compassion in the world. Even though there has always been plenty of hate to counterbalance the good, there was a time when people appeared to really care about helping others in need. Perhaps we only assumed there was more civility amongst us when in actuality most people were just silent about how they really felt. Silent in the face of suffering is not a good trait, especially when there is something that you can do. We shouldn’t have to wait for someone to ask us to lend a helping hand. It doesn’t need to be something big that makes the news, but a small and simple gesture of brotherly kindness to a stranger, family or friend. A little love goes a long way. A little yeast raises an entire batch of dough.
When I was just coming of age back in the 1960s there was a consciousness in the air called the “Age of Aquarius.” Teens and young adults spread love and drugs while joining forces under this blanket compassion. Even though it was thought to be all about compassion, perhaps the drugs had something to do with there being a lack of aggression rather than an overt expression of love. When you are high on a substance you live in a false sense of the world around you… that is what being high does to the brain. Everything around you could be going up in blaze but you are thinking, this is cool.
All the while our free love revolution was happening we were tackling huge social issues such as war, racial bigotry, police brutality, and even world hunger. There was something in the stream of consciousness of mankind that at least gave the impression of actually coming together as a world family to tackle some of our problems. Later those love fests turned to violent protest and chaos causing society to submerge back into our holes waiting for it to be over. People became more complacent with just laying low to allow things to quiet down. It was like the quiet after a fierce storm.
When the song, “We are the World” came out later it was an attempt to capture the sentiments of the 1960’s revolution without the mass use of drugs, but it did not become a movement. It was just a temporary flash of feeling good about an issue that faded away as quickly as it arose. There were a number of such movements of that kind but they did not rise to the level of the “Age of Aquarius” movement as it was back in the 1960s.
Many were hoping that the turn of the century would bring us this new hope where mankind with all this new technology could really do nice things for each other. With the advent of social media and the ability to reach out to the entire worldwide web surely, we could reach more people and do great things? NOT! What happened instead was people only proved just how cruel they were. Since the 2000s came upon us civility has not been the norm. Society is becoming even more violent, mean-spirited, cruel, and they are getting increasingly hostile. We are becoming dark and getting darker. Where is this phase headed? We must realize that, as the song says:
We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving. There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives. It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me.
This is the chorus of the song. I hope the writers won’t mind me using it to make my point. Somehow we have to make the world a better place to live, not just for ourselves, but for the entire human family. We can’t just keep the darkness at play and hope to have any decent future. Chaos will eventually implode upon itself taking down anyone in its path.
The solution seems to be out of reach but I beg to differ… the solution is in each of our hands. Each one can teach one causing a bridge to be formed. Each one who is able to give anything of benefit to others forms a chain of love and compassion. Give a homeless person a quarter or a sandwich. Help an elder person put their grocery in the car. Pay for the food of an elder citizen standing in the grocery store if you can afford it. Mentor a child. Love your own child more. Be kind to a stranger. Become a great neighbor. There are so many ways to express love… Love never ceases. All we need do is be willing to share and to care. The power of love shared on a worldwide scale could transform our world.
Let’s pick a day and call it a Universal Day of Love. On this day, 24 hours, let all people of all cultures, races, genders and other divides lay down their arms and make the entire day special using love in every imaginable way possible. Plant a seed of love and see where that takes us. We are the world… We are God’s children!