Volume 4, Issue 17
Happy Independence Day!
The answer is always the same — “Love, sweet love.” Hal David’s lyrics to the Burt Bachrach score. Reverberating in John Lennon’s “All You Need Is Love” a couple years later.
Yet at almost all times in memory there have been huge groups of people so angry at each other that the differences indeed appear irreconcilable. If they are truly irreconcilable differences, God help our great grandchildren, as Weapons of Mass Destruction (biological and chemical as well as radiological) become more and more refined and more and more available to anyone.
Shiites and Sunnis are once more at each other’s throats in Iraq — all we did was postpone it with the gallant soldiers who threw themselves bravely into the turmoil. Kurds are taking advantage of the distraction by consolidating their terrain. In our own country, there’s Fox News and the Outraged Democrats. Anywhere in the world you look somebody hates somebody, righteously holding onto their grudges and refusing to forgive. Even True Christians who know the sacredness of Forgiveness are allowing themselves this exception to the rule — they are allowed to hate at least one bad guy like “the Devil” and in real life other folks too with whom one has a long-running melodrama. And in the current Acceleritis™-degraded environment, each of us flips into demonizing another person or group at least briefly. This tendency has become so ingrained — maybe it’s just somebody driving too slowly in front of you when you can’t pass. Old brain circuits don’t die easily.
While we can all agree that this is pretty much the real scenario, most of us seem to feel nothing can be done about it. It’s the way the world is, and the world especially today has become so complex and so full of powerful rich people that control everything, what can any of us regular folks do to change anything so big and so pervasive?
We not only can do plenty, we are already doing it. As far as I can tell so far, it was not a huge conspiracy theory that brought about digital media, aimed at the democratization of power. It “just happened”. Possibly the plot was written from on high. In any case the inmates are now running the asylum to a more massive degree than ever before. Why not channel at least a tiny fraction of this digital free-for-all into content that evokes our capacity to love and forgive?
Sounds like boring screen fare? Not necessarily. Picture the MTV series “True Life” and then imagine amateur videographers all over the world starting to generate YouTube ongoing cinema verité series about friendships between a Sunni and a Shiite in Iraq, a Brit and a Catholic Irishman in Northern Ireland, a Liberal and a Conservative in the U.S., and other pairings of individuals from groups assumed to always hate each other. Maybe in some cases the friendships are between musicians or entertainers, perhaps from diverse cultures and global locations. Such as Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and other projects.
It might not be spectacular or grotesque enough to go viral, but as a constant drip-drip-drip in areas of the world where the hatred seethes to the boiling point today, it could begin to make a difference. The world’s establishment media can find cases of this already and simply bring the phenomena to everyone’s attention globally via mass media as well as social media. With very little effort it is possible to inject a little bit more love into the screens that now dominate our lives.
Just a little bit more love could be enough — imagine Archimedes’ lever slightly turning the angle of our world-line just one baby notch, with a little more oxytocin and a little less amygdala — as we endeavor to create a better future for our children’s children’s children.
P.S. My wife Lalita and I will be attending "Footsteps of Mandela," an original musical production celebrating world peace, freedom and human dignity. We will be accompanied by our good friend Stan Satlin, the songwriter of several inspiring songs about the spirit of America that will be performed there. Footsteps of Mandela will be performed at Riverside Church in New York City on July 18 at 7 PM to benefit the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: "In Terms of ROI." It is in the free section of the website at Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.
My new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available. Read an excerpt and watch my videos where I talk about the book.