Think about where you were in life in 2003. Us millennials were only in elementary school, seeing the world merely as what our childish, care-free life was like, and not looking at the bigger picture.
Believe it or not, I still have the knowledge of where I was in 2003. I remember leaving my PM-Kindergarten class in New Jersey, meeting my mom outside in front of the school, where she picked me up every afternoon. I would always get into the car, and she would be listening to one of her favorite CDs (because that's how we listened to music in the 2000s). It was the Elephunk album by The Black Eyed Peas. There was one song in particular that she would always play and that we would jam out to on the drive back home: "Where Is the Love?"
See, when I was five years old, I didn't quite get why my mom loved the song so much. Sure, the music was awesome, Justin Timberlake was featured, and I knew all of the words... but I didn't actually know what the words meant like my mom did.
In the events leading up to when that song was released in 2003, the world was a scary place. I learned later in life that the inspiration to write "Where Is the Love?" came from the somber state of the United States after the September 11, 2001, tragedies. The truth is, when my mom belted out those words, she was making it aware to herself and tried making it aware to me, that our world needs more love.
This song is still relevant in 2017, if not more. There has been a whole slew of occurrences that have been going on in the United States since 2003. Whether it be at the local, state, or governmental level, almost daily, incidents come to mind that absolutely sicken me. And honestly, I ask myself, "Where is the Love?" The lyrics from The Black Eyed Peas' song are truly powerful, and they come to mind when I hear about the tribulations in society.
Take, for instance, a particular example of something devastating that happened in my hometown last week. It correlates to the theme depicted in this lyric of the song: "What ever happened to the values of humanity?"
A victim of domestic abuse, who raised four amazing children that were middle school to college aged, was murdered by her aggressor. As disgusting as it is, sadly twenty people per minute will be domestically abused by their intimate partners. That doesn't mean we should let this statistic exist, though. We are prompted to love our neighbors, and that means saving people who need help, and also doing what we can to reduce the madness.
To that family from back home... I have been praying every day for you all.
What about on a larger scale? It is not rocket science to realize that what is happening in our country is completely unethical. People deserve to be treated as people and loved for who they are. Will.i.am said it best when he raps, "But if you only have love for your own race, then you only leave space to discriminate." Apl.de.ap described it as well when he sang, "What ever happened to the fairness and equality?"
Isn't fairness and equality what the American Dream is? Being able to express oneself and live the life (one's respected) God destined him or her to live? It's a shame that people are discriminated, segregated, banned, and separated from what our administration deems to be "mainstream." Forget political parties. Whether you're a Democrat, Republican, or anything else, what is happening in this country right now are acts of hate. Mr. Trump says he's the president for the people, and he could be, but where is the love?
To those who are being shammed for being who they are due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, income, gender, etc., have no fear, there will be liberty and justice for ALL, and nobody will be silenced until that happens.
Comprehending the lyrics of the entire song will open the eyes of anyone who listens. Some "lyrics-for-thought" are listed below that I find moving.
"Will you practice what you preach?"
"If love and peace is so strong, why are there pieces of love that don't belong?"
"Selfishness got us followin' the wrong direction."
(All of the lyrics are important, and could be found here.)Paris, Belgium, Turkey, and Orlando, to name a few tragedies, The Black Eyed Peas released a second version of the infamous song in 2016. The man of the band, will.i.am, believes in the present and future generations to make a difference, when he stated, “Millennials are powerful...I don’t think they realize just how powerful they are…I hope this song inspires the millennials to go all out, scream from the tallest mountain, care like your freedom depends on it. Pay attention like that is at risk.”
This song, which donates to a foundation important to will.i.am, and the original song, can be seen below.
I want to leave anyone reading this with a message:
The band was right when they said, "if you never know truth then you never know love." We are fortunate to live in a world that can bring blessings to us every day, even though that are still aspects that need to be taken care of. We owe it to ourselves to be good people, give glory to God where it is due, and come together and love one another.
I may have only been five when I first heard this song, but knowing more about the struggles in our world makes me believe that we, millennials, are powerful, and can do what is best for our lives out of, and because of, love.
"We only got one world"