Tuesday, 16 September 2014

We are here . . .

We are here
We are here for all of us
We are here for all of us
It's why we are here, why we are here
Why we are here

It's the age old question - trying to figure out one's purpose in life, your mission.
I have a ManuMission - check it out in the search tool, I think it's one of the earliest posts I wrote.
Living in the world right now, it is very easy to get swept away or to feel completely overwhelmed by the conflicts that seem far removed from our present realities, but it's at our doorstep when social media and our global connectedness ensures that we are more present in each other's realities more than ever before.

I have only heard this song a couple of times, but it's straight forward, clear message far surpasses all of the other material that currently clogs our newsfeeds of female artists with no clear messages of social justice.  I strongly believe that in our own little worlds of influence - we have the power to make a positive difference in our own small way.  This song highlights issues and problems that some of us may never have the misfortune of ever facing.  But in the event that come face to face with it - are we equipped to work together?

Bombs over Baghdad
Tryna get something that we never heard
Let's start with a good dad
So real it's so sad
And while we're burning this incense 
We gon' pray for the innocent
Cause right now it don't make sense
Right now it don't make sense

The juxtaposition of bombs over Baghdad with a good dad brings to mind how our innocence is lost, because I think about the children who are affected by bombing, children with no great father figures in their lives - all the while, trying to make sense of a world that increasingly does not make sense.

Alicia sings about burning incense, synonymous with accompanying ascending prayers.  The final two lines of the verse reflect a feeling of being incensed, that we should be extremely angry about the world we now live in and take affirmative action.

Let's talk about chi-town
Let's talk about Gaza
Let's talk about 
Let's talk about Israel
Right now it is real
Let's talk about
Let's talk about Nigeria, and the mass hysteria

Like all good social justice songs, it is topical, addressing the global issues of the day.
This track does what songs in oral traditions do: it becomes a record, a historical document of the current events at the time.  For years to come, generations will be able to listen to this track again (and any other track of this nature) and reflect on the attitudes and the state of the world at that time.

Let's talk about our part
Let my heart touch your heart
Let's talk about
Let's talk about living
Had enough of dying
Not what we all about
Let's do more giving
Do more forgiving, yeah
Our souls are brought together so that we can
Love each other sister

The use of the words 'brother' and 'sister' in the song assume that like a tight family unit - we will all get along, embrace our differences yet celebrate our sameness.  It is extremely frustrating to see how much self-involved we can get, making everything about 'me' rather than the 'we' that Alicia sings so passionately about in this song.

I hope that in your corner of the world, that you make your presence felt in the sense that you live your life in a meaningful way that helps your fellow man.  Being considerate, compassionate, respectful and open to listening and learning about each other - is what makes us 'we'.

We are here
We are here for all of us
We are here for all of us
It's why we are here, why we are here
Why we are here. . .