Like many others in the United States and around the world, I watched in horror as American cities burned, businesses looted and destroyed, with angry mobs roaming the street. Luckily, since then, tempers have tempered and hopefully change will happen. I do not understand why racial issues develop because I like people of other races. Yes, Black Lives Matter, Native Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. I live in an area rich in diversity and we get along just fine. People want to be safe and happy and treated fairly, and such is the Holy Teaching of Heaven for the earth. Do not harm any breathing creature that cries, do not discriminate, treat all people kindly no matter the race, sex, age, religion, non-religion, whatever.
A couple of days ago I listened to a recording of songs by Pete Seeger, an influential American folk singer and social activist. As a member of the folk group the Weavers, he was blacklisted during the 1950’s anticommunist McCarthy hearings. During the 1960s, he was a prominent singer of protest music in support of disarmament, civil rights, workers rights, and environmental causes. In the late 60’s he released an album called “God Bless the Grass” and every song was about environmental issues. Throughout his career, he wrote many wonderful songs, the best known are “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, If I Had a Hammer, and Turn! Turn! Turn!.”
The album contains a recitation by Studs Terkel of words Seeger wrote on a rock while canoeing with his youngest daughter. He was dismayed at all the littered bottles and cans on the beach… the words were never put to music.
Here is a verse from Pete Seeger.
Cursed be the nation of any size or shape,
Whose citizens behave like naked apes,
And drop their litter where they please,
Just like we did when we swung from trees.
But blessed be the nation and blessed be the prize,
When citizens of any shape or size
Can speak their mind for any reason
Without being jailed or accused of treason.
Cursed be the nation without equal education,
Where good schools are something that we ration,
Where the wealthiest get the best that is able,
And the poor are left with crumbs from the table.
Blessed be the nation that keeps its waters clean,
Where an end to pollution is not just a dream,
Where factories don’t blow poisonous smoke,
And we can breath the air without having to choke.
Cursed be the nation where all play to win,
And too much is made of the color of the skin,
Where we do not see each other as sister and brother,
But as being threats to each other.
Blessed be the nation with health care for all,
Where there’s a helping hand for those who fall,
Where compassion is in fashion every year,
And people, not profits, is what we hold dear.
Here is a link to hear Studs Terkel reading Blessed Be the Nation on YouTube:
And here is a verse from the Veda.
Be kind and say prayers for those who strike and insult others, and please heaven with acts of compassion on the earth.