Posted on December 8, 2011 by Naresh Kumar
“We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
Its true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me”
When over 40 artists led by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson came together to record this song for the USA for Africa Foundation over 25 years ago, the whole world was touched and inspired by it. There is something infectious about such music that makes us get up and share what we have with others.
Throughout history, there have been legends about men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving others. From nobles who looked after their people like their own families to ordinary folks who generously shared their resources with their friends and community. And their stories have been passed down generations through music. While a lot of religious songs extol the virtues of kindness and generosity, there are several mainstream songs on this theme that have since become very popular.
Like “One Love” from the Reggae legend Bob Marley who says “One love, One heart, Let’s get together and feel all right”.
Jimmy Cliff, in his track Wonderful World, Beautiful People, asks us to
“Take a look at the world,
and the state that it’s in today,
I am sure you’ll agree,
We all could make it a better way.
With our love put together,
Ev’rybody learn to love each other,
Instead of fussing and fighting.”
And how about those unsung heroes right in our homes, who always give and never expect anything in return? The moms who are always there for their kids and relentlessly shower their generosity on them. Several songs have been dedicated to moms and this particular one, Dear Mama, happens to be one of my favorites, where 2pac rightly said, in his signature hip hop style:
“Don’t cha know we love ya? Sweet lady
Place no one above ya, sweet lady”
And how true it is that in our hearts, no one can be placed above moms. We can be ugly but we are still the most beautiful child for her. We can be dumb, but she feels we are bright. Strict she may be, but there’s kindness in her frown and anger. She may go hungry but won’t let her kids sleep with an empty-stomach.
Much of our character traits are developed during our growing years and its important that kids learn the qualities of kindness and sharing early in their lives. This is a cute number called Try Some Kindness that is made for kids but even we grownups can probably learn a thing or two from it.
They say when you are angry or depressed or are undergoing any other emotional distress, just go out and perform an act of kindness. Anything – you don’t have to go to a non-profit or set aside a lot of time – just go out and see if there’s anyone who is less privileged than you. Serve him in any way you can or simply smile at him. You will not only feel better, you’ll probably realize how trivial your problems are compared to others’ out there in the world.
And if you ever need inspiration for this, just listen to any of the above songs and you will be inspired! Got a better suggestion? Add a comment below.