Thursday, December 7, 2017

What a Wonderful World

I often think about what our young children need. And I sometimes consider the world that they are growing up in, and I can get sad or even depressed sometimes.

What young children truly need is a feeling that their world is safe and good. “I am safe. I am protected. I feel the warmth of love from those around me.”

That is what is needed so they can be relaxed in their environment of home, of kindergarten, of family. When they feel that safe, warm, relaxed feeling many things become possible. Growth requires warmth (just think, you put the leftovers in the cold refrigerator so nothing grows on them), and relaxing into true creative play requires feeling safe. Play is an essential activity for a growing brain.

Yet we adults know that our world is a messy and sometimes scary place where sometimes good does not prevail. We know that sometimes people are not safe, and some places are not so safe. We worry about the situation for peoples in various parts of the world. We notice that our earth is not being protected and respected. We may think governments are sliding back from past progress in various areas, that things are getting worse.

Being compassionate and empathetic can lead us down, and down, into melancholia.

Our children are listening, and watching, and sensing what we are feeling. "Little pitchers have big ears." So how do we not share our despair and sadness about the state of the world with them. What can we do to uplift ourselves and radiate some joy.

It is about our inner practices. We each have to find ways to connect with the good, to overcome the sadness and to find gratitude for what we have and what is around us.

I was playing music (a great antidote for despair) and suddenly really became aware of the words of a song I was working on. I realized this song is a powerful mantra for gratitude, for joy and for connecting with the future arc of the children’s lives. So this holiday season, I offer it for you as well. 

This song was first made famous by Louis Armstrong. Armstrong was a unique performer - he had an unusual voice which he used to improvise songs and he excelled at scat singing. His improvisational trumpet playing was a new element in the music of his time. He stands out as a very individualistic musician. One-of-a-kind!
The song was first recorded in 1967 by Louis Armstrong and became a huge hit, It has since been performed by many musicians and has maintained its popularity 50 years later. What a Wonderful World was written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss. 

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world,
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.