Sunday, 14 June 2015

Tryin' times. . .

Tryin' times that's what the world's talking about
You got confusion all over the land, yeah
You got mother against daughter, you got father against son
You know the whole thing is getting out of hand

Conflict will always be a feature of humankind (funny that, having conflict isn't a kind thing at all is it?).  But I think conflict is a necessary thing because of what happens after it.  The expectation is that  there should be some kind of resolution (if not a solution) about how things work out, what both parties can agree to, or in the case of so many global problems that we are facing - a concentrated consensus effort to really solve our man-made issues.

You got the riots in the ghetto, it's all around
A whole lot of things that's wrong is going down, yes, it is
I can't understand it from my point of view
'Cause I think you should do unto others
As you'd have them do unto you

This track Tryin' times by Roberta Flack is not one of the tracks that I am familiar with but I love the sentiment behind the lyrics.  At the time of the release of this song, she would've been commenting on the political unrest (and social unrest) in America at the time, and sadly those issues are just as real today as they were then - poverty, homelessness, civil rights, racism, crime.  The incidents at Ferguson and now more recently in McKinney with police brutality against African Americans, has now only been fuelled further with the Rachel Dolezal debacle with the NAACP.

I said man is always talking 'bout its inhumanity to man
But what is he tryin' to do to make it a better man?
Oh, just pick up your paper, turn on your TV
You see folks demonstrating about equality  

We know about the inequality and inequity in the world around us, the world that we are in, but we talk a lot about it rather than actually do something about it.  Is it possible that we could try to do something to eradicate the inequality and the inequity that we can contribute to, that we can do something about, because it would be in our power to do so?  Whatever situation or context you are in - whatever small way that you could manage it, wouldn't it be worth doing?

But maybe folks wouldn't have to suffer
If there was more love for your brother 
But these are tryin' times

It's really hard to share love for your brother isn't it?  Pride gets in the way, greed, selfishness, assumptions, misunderstanding, ignorance, a whole myriad of things (and sometimes people) can get in the way of loving your brother - even if he wrongs you too and causes you pain.  Natural human instinct is to retaliate and inflict pain on people (especially family, they should know better because they're related to you right?) who choose to hurt you.  What's even stronger though, is to let them suffer by treating them kindly.  It may not seem like it's a strong thing to do - but believe me it is.  It's what make the times. . . tryin'.

Tryin' times, yeah, that's what the world is talkin' about
You got confusion all over the land . . . 

I hope that one day we'll be less confused and more enthused, more attuned to what we can do for each during our own tryin' times.  We need to band together and continue to look out for each other because when we suffer in silence or don't open up about what our personal experiences can do to make other stronger - then we will not be living our true human experiences, we won't have improved our human condition and we won't have been using our time wisely to ensure that even during these tryin' times, that we never give up . . . tryin'. . .