I can remember as a child sitting for hours making posters that prominently featured peace signs and doves alongside pleas for world peace. I was full of the hope and innocence that often accompanies childhood. I mean, let's be real, world peace will never happen, right? Then why, as an adult, do I keep writing songs about it? Why, deep in my heart of hearts, do I still believe it could be a reality someday?
I have recently been rehearsing my close harmony choral piece, "Street Dance," with OVation (the travel size version of One Voice Mixed Chorus) which means I'm singing about world peace weekly. In the song, the singer dreams that people around the world are dancing in the street. Grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunts, everyone is holding hands and dancing "to the rhythm of the beat." Yet in the morning, when the dreamer wakes up, it's not true — no one is dancing. They decide to take a chance and reach out a hand to a stranger. Soon two are dancing, then four, then people across the land are holding hands and dancing in the street.
Every time I sing this story I think, “And why not world peace?” I'm lucky, I get the opportunity as a singer to embody the words I'm singing, to believe for a moment that they are true. I get to feel world peace. I get to imagine what it feels like to reach out to a stranger. This is why I write music. Because imagining a better world, a more peaceful world, and singing it gets us one step closer. Of course, the work doesn't end in the singing or the listening. It begins when we feel empowered and we reach out a hand.
Nobel Peace Laureate (and kindred spirit), Beatrice Fihn, whose group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is working to outlaw nuclear weapons’ use, production and possession was just featured in an interview with Time magazine. She talked about her aha moment when she realized that the U.N. was not talking about nuclear weapons and the destruction they could cause. She decided it was time to talk. To make the destruction they could wreak real. "Sometimes I get the feeling that people think of nuclear weapons as a natural disaster, like an asteroid, and there's nothing we can do," says Fihn. "But people made them. And we can take them apart." She's reaching out her hand to strangers. Although many would consider her naive, I'm grateful for her vision. She inspires me.
Maybe you’re feeling inspired as well by “Street Dance” (Watch the video!) or by Beatrice. Shoot me an email with your story of reaching out to a stranger. I’ll be posting these inspiring stories on my website and sharing them on my Facebook page to inspire others. Tell me how you’ve brought us one step closer to world peace.
Peace and Love,
Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash