As a distraction from the current hemorrhages on Wall Street, here are my thoughts on the song "Exodus" by Bob Marley.
**The instrumental introduction at the beginning of the song is one of the song's best parts, but obviously I'm going to do a poor job of describing it here, so I'll just skip that part.
"Men and people will fight you down"
As long as self-interest to be protected has existed, various kinds of oppressors have flourished. Whether it be religious oppression, political oppression, social oppression, economic oppression: oppression has been a dominant theme of human history. We have all sought an escape from some form at oppression at a specific time in our lives, even if we sought refuge from a mere kindergarten bully. It's important to stand up for ourselves: to stand up for what we believe, what we value, what we cherish.
"Let me tell you, if you're not wrong...then everything is alright"
If you firmly uphold a set of convictions, you can resist oppression. If what you believe is worth holding your ground for, then even if all kinds of trouble befalls you, you can take satisfaction in knowing that you are ultimately in the right on the matter. If you have some reaffirming principle, you can take courage in your beliefs and use them as an anchor to keep yourself steady during ordeals which you may face.
"So we gonna walk...alright...through the roads of creation"
No matter who we are or what we believe, we all walk through the same planet. We all inhabit the same world. We all enjoy this creation, regardless of creed or race or any other consideration.
"We the generation"
Each generation has its own responsibility to improve the world that has been passed to it. Each has a special dictate to fulfill its duty to create a better world. We have to hold ourselves accountable for our actions, because we're the only people we've got, and this is the only world we have.
"Trod through great tribulation"
All of us deal with great stresses and disturbances during our lives. Some of us are surrounded by extreme violence, sadly, through circumstance and events beyond our control.
"Open your eyes"
What kind of life is this for us if we refuse to acknowledge what's going on all around us? We can't live with blinders. It paralyzes us. When we examine our lives, we see both great wonders and great tragedies. Enormous responsibility lies with those who are the most knowledgable about our world. For having once opened our eyes to the world, closing our mind at the same time is a most dangerous step. We cannot learn new knowledge in one area of life and unlearn it in yet another area.
"And look within"
As we move through this world, interact with other people in our lives, it is essential that we learn something about ourselves in the process, or we are moving blindly. Who are we? It is a fundamental question posed to us by our very existence as people. So why not take some time to look inwards? It might help us understand how those around us act; it might help us turn outwards, and empathize. If we can understand at least one human being, that is, our own person, then we have a much improved chance for understanding other ones.
"Are you satisfied (with the life you're living?)"
Are you? I'll let Bob Marley ask this one. Because if you're not, then you really need to start doing something about it.
"We know where we're going; we know where we're from"
Unless we truly appreciate our background, we cannot appreciate our future. But I discussed this quite a bit in my last post. But it's great to have tradition, and connections to a larger community. Not all of us have that. And most of don't know where we're going. I don't.