05 March 2017

Compassion Tune-Up: "There's a Choice We're Making, We're Saving Our Own Lives"

Do you remember the song We Are the World? It's a song that was recorded by umpteen famous American singers in 1985, to raise money for African famine relief. I remember at the time thinking, "There go those Yanks again, thinking they own the world." But the single went quadruple platinum and they raised over $63 million US (the equivalent of $138 million today), so who was I to judge? 

You know, one million people died in Ethiopia between 1983 and 1985 due to famine. Today, the lives of 5.6 million Ethiopians are threatened by drought and famine. As La Rochefoucauld said, the more things change, the more they stay the same. 


That was a long-winded way of introducing this week's blog post. My hubby and I were despairing earlier this week that nothing is changing. People still don't feel the emergency, the crisis, the climate chaos and the ocean devastation, and they're not demanding change. 

That reminded Peter of Jiddu Krishnamurti, an Indian philosopher "discovered" by the Theosophical Society in 1909.

For Peter, the wisest thing that the very wise Krishnamurti ever said was that (I'm paraphrasing) we are the world, so if we ever expect to change the world, we'd better change ourselves. Right now. 

To explain it better, some pictures might be worth a thousand words or so. 

We Are the World
— Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can't go on pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We all are a part of God's great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

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 make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart so they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand


When you're down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there's no way we can fall
Let's realize that a change can only come
When we stand together as one


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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?