Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Walk in History For Freedom, Justice, and Harmony

By Lorraine Arams

Peter, Paul and Mary - a simple name for a group - their real names. And, as people, they were real too.

PBS presented two hours of the lives and times of Peter, Paul and Mary. The songs are so recognizable even today - Puff the Magic Dragon, If I Had a Hammer, Wedding Song, Jet Plane and so many, many others. Many generations have "sung along"! What struck me the most last night was the courage these artists had demonstrated throughout their careers - a courage that few people are willing to apply to their own. They stood for justice, freedom and dignity. They stood for love and equality. They stood for what most people think of "ideals". They lived them.

They walked alongside protesters on US streets, appeared in Washington at the rally where Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his famous speech, "I Have a Dream", they composed and sang songs about places like El Salvador. All three had travelled purposely into El Salvador to talk to the people who experienced the effects of US Foreign Policy in that country at the time.

They were denounced as "un-American" for speaking out about what they saw and learned during their travel to El Salvador - they dared to exercise their right of freedom of speech! How many of us have that kind of courage? How many of us simply, "go along to get along" every day of our lives in our careers and our personal lives?

And that's the point - most of us follow the latter route - for survival we say. But we know the difference, don't we? Our apathy about what goes on in our own country and abroad allow the atrocities to continue even to this day. I can hardly believe my ears when I hear stories about racial discrimination in the US today and how poverty in my own country is still alive and well - why?

43 years they sang - the three of them loved to sing and loved to sing together. The three of them stood up for what they believed in. Millions of people around the world have admired them for 43 years as they openly and publicly "talked" about highly sensitive topics. They survived through momentous times - Elvis, the Beatles, Mick Jagger, civil rights movement, Vietnam War, the hippie movement - and, yet, to this day, their songs and messages are still important.

They protested! They sang! They stood up for ideals! To them "ideals" weren't "ideals" but a way of life, not empty words.

When we write our "song" about our lives, will we be proud that we lived our "ideals"? Or were they just words ... just thoughts ... that had no backbone, so unimportant we gave them no time at all?

I've worked in many types of industries including health, law, performing arts, import/export,real estate, seniors, mining, small business, self-development, associations, education and now online. This experience and knowledge helps people because I can understand some of the challenges they face.

Personal Coach - Operations Consultant - Speaker - Workshop Leader - Business Person.

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