Now more than ever, just like in 1971, we need to call on the healing power of hope and friends. This became clear to me listening to my husband prepare for a concert, “1971” in Nashville in a few weeks. (See link below) It highlights music from that year which often spoke of the power of relationships and their capacity to offer hope. Most striking, just like now, 1971 was a difficult time of turmoil from the Vietnam War and constant political unrest. It seems we need messages like this today more than ever.
There are interesting parallels between those time and now. In 1971 the anger and contempt of young people toward the political leadership and the distrust of the news was palatable. We (yes, I was involved) protested a war that would never be respected or won, and its end was still years away. Marches and protests were happening regularly, there was violence on campuses and in the streets. The song lyrics speak of reaching out to one another to bridge the gap of disconnection in a world we didn’t understand, didn’t trust and didn’t think represented our interests.
The headlines were full of stories of corruption, lies and deceit. Nixon was president and would soon to be impeached for his role in covering up the 1972 break-in at the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee Headquarters. Vice President, Spirow Agnew, was being investigated for conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud. He would resign in 1973. It was an unstable and contentious time.
What were the lyrics focused on? If you are old enough to remember, then you may recall “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”, by Paul Simon and Art Garfield, or “You’ve Got A Friend” by Carole King or “Lean On Me” by Bill Wither’s. They have similar messages – be there for your friends, since you can’t trust those around you. Let me share a few lines of them, so you’ll know what I mean.
Paul Simon wrote: “When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all. I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough, and friends just can’t be found. Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down…”
Bill Wither wrote: “You just call on me brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on. I just might have a problem that you’ll understand. We all need somebody to lean on…”
Carole King wrote: “You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running, to see you again. Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there. You’ve got a friend…”
While the content of the lyrics may seem saccharine and idealistic now, the tone of the times was similar. There was the same sense of helplessness we feel as we watch the 1/10 of 1% control the politics and direction of our country. And there was the same outrage and dismay watching the integrity of our political process be corrupted. While we have social media to bring us closer together now, we still have the same issues and need to turn to one another for support and hope.
But this time, let’s be even more decisive and action oriented around what we want. Here are some ways friends coming together with hope can make a difference:
LIFT UP YOUR MOST HOPEFUL VISION
The most powerful and easily accessed tool is your capacity to dream and envision the future you want. We’ve been asleep at the wheel, seduced by our satisfied life styles. We were lulled into complacency. Now it is time to reconnect to the vision of the world you want and most importantly, the values that underpin this vision.
Be the model of your vision – speak and act on your values.
JOIN, ORGANIZE AND OFFER HOPE
What concerns you? What issues do you want to support, what organizations can you join and what can you do to help organize around those issues? Are there politicians you can support who represent your interests? You have the power to be a messenger of hope by being proactive. You are needed. Don’t idly watch as the progressive measures that mark our country as advanced be systematically torn down under the guise of making our country great. Step up! It’s time to offer whatever help you can provide.
Involvement in the issues that concern you is the best offering of hope you can provide.
CREATE A SAFETY NET WITH FRIENDS
When you gather with friends around issues of concern or things of value, you are creating a safety net. It becomes an energetic vortex that can expand across the nation and around the world when everyone is joined. It’s powerful, it works, and it protects us from further damage. The world is watching, we have friends everywhere. Join them.
You’re not alone; find those who are like-minded and create a powerful safety net of values and action.
How are these times affecting you? Are you concerned about the changes in our country and the corrosion of decent values that protect human dignity and our planet? This has happened before – the 1970s were similar times. As the lyrics of the music noted, we looked out for our friends and we offered hope. Ultimately, we organized, we stood up for our values and we helped change our world. We can and must do it again.
Does this speak to concerns you have in these times? Are there things you’d like to explore to more effectively use your gifts to make a difference professionally or socially? My Transformations Life Coaching and Counseling offers tools that can help you. Check out my website www.spectrumtransformation.com for more information and reach out to me using my Free Consultation link. I’d love to hear from you. And if you are interested in the “1971” concert in Nashville, check out the link below!
• Photo Credit – Andrew Brinkhorst
• Nashville “1971” Concert Information – June 25, 2018. https://www.3rdandlindsley.com/event/8383795/1971-featuring-jonell-mosser-john-cowan-michael-mishaw-mark-jones-lee-carroll-dylan-jones-ben-lacy/