This blog is going to a new format.
My first entry under the new format:
Why Bob Marley Is Really Phenomenal
Listen to the song "No Woman No Cry".
Actually, here are some lyrics:
"I remember, when we used to sit..."
Already, he's talking about the urge for community that we all share. Think back to your earliest memories, to your family gatherings. Hopefully you have these memories: everyone is sitting together, sharing, gathering, being together in one another's presence.
"Good friends we've got and good friends we've lost, along the way"
How we can ever appreciate what we have if isn't for our friends? We need people to share our disappointments with, people to share our problems with, people to talk to when we are depressed. Just as importantly, we need people to rejoice with, people to laugh with, people who share in our successes and desire for us something better even than what we desire for ourselves. This is what love is.
"In this great future, you can't forget your past"
No, we can never forget all of the things that have shaped us as individuals, or as societies. Every time a person comes into our lives, we shape, and are shaped, by that person. Each of us has a profound impact on every other one of us. We are all fundamentally interdependent. And this is true not only for us, but it's also true for the events in which we participate during our lives. Each event is interdependent; it has a cause, and it will be a cause of some other events in turn. We really cannot afford to forget our past.
And pleasant memories make a sad present bearable; sad memories make a pleasant future all that much sweeter to enjoy. We are bound to remember the people who have brought us to where we are, for no one can ever get anywhere alone in this world. We have to remember who we are, so we can be happy. For how we can fulfill ourselves as individuals if we don't even know who we are, or where we come from? For where we come from is so essential to building us just as we are. That's why Marley's nailed this point.
"So dry your tears, I say"
Crying is good. It is good for us; it is a good way to heal; it is a good way to show how we care, to empathize with others who we love and care for. I've cried before, more than a few times. And there's nothing wrong it.
But we can't just be sad all the time. We have to live. Sometimes we have to fight to live. Sometimes we have to hold onto all of what we have just to get by, just to stay together. But there are always things we should do. There are always thing to be done. We have to live life.
"Then we would cook oatmeal porridge, of which I'll share with you"
Again, another reference to community. And there are few things in life more communal than eating. How do you feel when you eat alone? How do you feel when you eat with other people? As long as we have existed, we have eaten together. This underscores that we all do have something in common, really. We all need nourishment. We all eat. Food is a common denominator we all share.
"My feet is my only carriage, so I've got to push on through. But while I'm gone, I mean, everything's gonna be alright"
Wow, this is a pretty substantial thought. One of my favorite song lyrics of all time. To address this section properly, I'll have to address it as a whole.
I think what Bob Marley's saying, is that he is his own support, and that he is using what he does have to the best of his ability. He only has his feet to walk with. He's making a statement about trying to live with the abilities given to us as people. Some of us are better at some things than others are. Given what we have, we have to keep going regardless of circumstance. And pushing him along, in this journey, is a strong sense of optimism. Things are going to turn out well. Things are going to get better. It's a powerful statement on how to live one's life. The whole song really comes down to this section. It's an amazing message: a resounding message of perseverance, optimism and determination.
***Note: If any of you want me to, I can tell you how I feel about Marley's song "Exodus", which is another meaningful song to me, another one of my favorites from his work.