My song today is, ‘We are the World’. This song was recorded as a charity single by the supergroup ‘USA Africa’ in 1985. It was written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson for the album ‘We Are the World’. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is the eighth best-selling physical single of all time. The song was released on March 7, 1985.
There is no truth more self-evident than a society proclaiming, “Our children are our future”. Any society which does not respect its old or ignores its ill and infirmed, tolerates poverty of its people, promotes its most powerful, and fails to protect its children is a society with no moral compass, bound to stray from the path of humanity and basic decency. Such a materialistic society is liable to be swallowed up by the speculative greed of its more avaricious members and is doomed to ultimate failure.
The ultimate shame and the downfall of materialistic society is its inability to treasure, care for, admire, adore, cherish, value, revere, respect, uphold, uplift, protect, shield, defend, safeguard, treasure and love her children. I praise and respect all the cultures of this world that naturally harbour and actively manifest these instincts. If a nation or a population of people fails to recognise the true value of its young, then it does not deserve to ever grow old. Any nation which fails to recognise the worth of its children is also liable to forget the past sacrifices its older citizens made and effectively devalues the life of both young and old at a single stroke.
Even the Governments of the most democratic of nations (like Great Britain), existing during the most devastating of times (like the current Covid-19 pandemic) will risk the autocratic measures and diktats it issues to maintain control of its people, reducing the basic freedoms of those very same individuals. When a country’s profit and economic performance becomes paramount and takes precedence to the mental and physical health of its people, then defective government comes into existence, and indecision of our rule makers and politicians is allowed to flourish, as ordinary citizens are restricted in a straitjacket choice of either being locked up for failure to comply with the daily edicts or have themselves locked down. Whatever choice we make in such circumstances, it nevertheless represents the trampling of our basic freedoms.
When a country arrives at the stage where life-threatening illnesses can no longer be treated in our hospitals: where the nearest a person can get to a doctor (who is taking cover 24/7) is the sound of their voice on a phone line: where sick people cannot be visited in their old folk’s home or on their hospital ward by their relatives, even at their end of life stages: and where families are prevented from visiting each other’s homes or attending any social gathering and family event like Christenings, birthday celebrations, marriages, babies being born with fathers in attendance, deaths, or even funerals; when such a state of affairs are allowed to exist, then so are the basic freedoms of that individual! Once the true message of Christmas has been lost, you might as well cancel Christmas altogether!
Whenever any Government of the day loses sight of the things most worthy of cherishing, the anchor of a decent person’s values becomes disconnected from the mother ship, and both Government of the day and its people are on an inevitable course of divergence as they each decide to go their own way. When this happens, the seeds for persistent rebellion are sown and anarchy finds a home in the hearts of the disenfranchised, disrespected and disgusted citizen.
My message to all governments around the world is please do not push the patience and toleration levels of your people too far unless you are prepared to pay the ultimate price. I would remind all governments that the prosperity of a people is not measured in banks, financial markets, or its flourishing economy, but in its principles and goodness and generosity of heart. I would remind all governments that the common man and woman want to live in a society which regard their young as being its future, and which enables the elderly to retain their dignity until the day they die. Fail to invest in the young and there is no future, and humanity will inflict a deadly blow upon itself. Take away the dignity of the elderly in the evening of their final day and you take away the very freedoms most of them fought a World War for. Imagine for one moment that one’s life is meaningful without one’s freedom, and you do not live in the world of the average man and woman.
If we value our children as being our future, what should we teach them? What are the finest values and the best lessons of life to inculcate them with at their most innocent and impressionable of ages? Societies with a glowing future do not teach its children to be rich but instead educates them to be happy, true to their word, sincere, forgiving, understanding, compassionate, generous, and loving.
True, we teach them in the art of reading, writing and arithmetic, but we also teach them how to dream; for when they dream of a future, they dare to make it happen. We make them aware of their past so that they can help change the things in the society they will grow up in to provide freedom and equality of opportunity for all in the New World. We teach them that with power comes responsibility, with positivism comes progress; and within the practice of compassion and care lies the core of humanity. We teach them that within the wide spectrum of life, the distinction between one colour and another inside the human rainbow of genetics only becomes discernible to the human eye when the human heart creates a divide and magnifies any physical difference between one person and the next. Finally, we teach them that there is nothing that is either good or bad in this world that thinking it so will not make it so.
We all hear so many things about what a good parent should and shouldn’t do, and yet all first-time parents like any first-timer make mistakes. First-time parents are no different learning their unfamiliar role than just any trainee pilot is. The trainee pilot never earns their wings until they have flown by the seat of their pants the first time around.
Children are not homogeneous; no two are alike! Some behave like little angels and others act like little monsters. Therefore, no single method will be appropriate and efficacious across the board in bringing about the desired change in any of their inappropriate behaviour. There is a subtle art in knowing whether to apply the carrot or the stick in the range of rewards and punishments you use, but giving the child a cuddle as a natural parental function, telling him/her that you love them daily, and positively remarking on their good behaviour, is the best way of ensuring the best of responses from them, whether angel or imp.
In today’s song, the most important lines of the song is “We are the world, we are the children. We are the ones to make a better day, so let’s start giving”.
Love and peace Bill xxx