Music is the soul of society | Walter Backstrom
By WALTER BACKSTROM
Federal Way Mirror No Excuses
February 6, 2009 · 8:33 AM
To understand the soul of any society, listen to its music.
I grew up listening to what is commonly referred to as "old school music." Music that reflected a society in turmoil: Rights, the war, and a fight for equal justice for minorities and women.
One of the greatest songs ever written was called "Imagine," by John Lennon. It talked about the eternal struggle for a personal soul and the fact that most people want to go to heaven.
Then there was The Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," about a young man making a mistake and asking for a second chance.
However, my favorite song is titled "If This World Were Mine" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. It talks about the love between a man and a woman. It reminded me of the first time I fell in love. I was on my first date, and I just knew she was the one. That was a time when everything was right with the world. I just smiled at her because I didn't know what else to do. But I just knew she was the one.
The music reflected a time when people were searching for love and the answers to life. What was important was not the money, but the purpose. It taught me that the goal in life was not to be happy, but to make a difference.
Unfortunately, we have music called "gangsta rap," with its vile lyrics that glorify murder and drugs, and using words that demean our mothers, our sisters and even our grandmothers. These so-called artists refer to women using language that no society should justify or be subjected to — but unfortunately, we are.
If you listen to this contemporary music, you ask, "Where is the love? Where is the hope for something better?" There is none.
That is why you see a society struggling with the eternal battle of good vs. evil. We are in an economic turmoil because we are in a spiritual turmoil, which is reflected mainly in our music and our society.
The people who are watching this battle, literally for the soul of this nation, are our children. They look at utter amazement at the violence, the bad words and the despair that fill our newspapers and spew out of our televisions. This battle will be won by one side or the other.
However, there are forces for good. They don't make the headlines. Hope rarely does.
Good people battle every day for things that are right, and for things that are just. We encounter those people, ordinary people doing extraordinary things. That is what believers do. They do that because there's a force that will not let them rest. Deep down inside, they all know there is work to do.
Will we make it out of this mess? Absolutely. It will not be because of any bailout from the government. What truly ails this country can't be fixed in Washington, D.C., or in Olympia. It will be fixed by those people who refuse to say no — because they know they have to say yes.
No excuses.Contact Federal Way Mirror No Excuses Walter Backstrom at email@example.com.