Blowin’ in the wind
A song written by Bob Dylan in 1962 is very relevant in today’s world of expanding terrorism and massive human suffering in places such Syria and other parts of the Middle East.
Not much has changed since that song was penned, posing vital questions about why civilisation has failed in learning how to live together peacefully with respect and dignity.
The world is moving closer to a new year, with millions across the globe wondering about the new administration in America, with Donald Trump set to become the nation’s commander-in-chief in a matter of weeks and much of country still divided over what to expect.
Even before taking the oath of office, Trump has caused international concern after tweeting his desire to expand America’s nuclear arsenal, which is counter to the outgoing Barack Obama’s efforts to promote a reduction of the world’s most lethal weapons. Sadly, Russia has also indicated that it, too, wants to expand its nuclear power.
After the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended the Second World War, with many thousands killed and maimed, one could reflect on a line from Dylan’s song, which asks “how many times must cannon balls fly before they are forever banned”.
Yes, as the song says, the answer is still blowin’ in the wind.
The song questions most of the flaws of so many societies where people still struggle for basic justice against a tide of negative elements that include power seekers who thrive on dominating others at any cost. This happens even in some countries that claim they operate in a democratic system.
In the political arena, power is never off the table as a key objective, and while that is a part of the democratic process, it is the people who feel the pinch when expected standards fall terribly short.
We in Bermuda have an advantage over larger jurisdictions because our population is small enough to work through sensitive issues, provided we overcome the political divisiveness that continues to keep many answers to our problems blowin’ in the wind.
If we fail to move away from emotional hangovers of past social injustices and display a willingness to embrace a new chapter of respect and commitment to solving problems as one people, that song that questions so much about life will always have meaning.
Many times the group that helped to make the song popular — Peter, Paul and Mary — could see people shedding tears as they performed this song that appealed to all humanity.
Here in Bermuda, we have a choice: to either embrace the true principles of democracy or to allow ourselves to be embraced by negative elements that threaten values of common decency, which each generation should pass on to the next.
This will take great courage from the people because in the end, it is not which political group is in power, but whether our core values are being upheld in all of our efforts to build a better Bermuda.
Let us all hope, the answers will not be left like the song — blowin’ in the wind.
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