My sister sent me a link to this video last night and since then I have watched it 4 times, each time with fewer tears, and a greater sadness.
The Anniversary of 9/11 and watching this video made me realize how fragile humanity is. We live in a world of fear, a fear that brings with it judgement and intolerance and hate. We weep for those who perished at the hands of those who wanted control–who wanted to make a statement to the world. We weep for the families who had to move on without their loved ones. We thought that war and vengeance would help alleviate all this sorrow we were feeling; and “fix” the problems we perceived were the root of all this suffering.
Along the way we forgot about the destruction and additional suffering that would inevitably weigh on our consciences. Casualties of war, we would say. Necessary means to an end, we would convince ourselves.
And along came Emmanuel Kelley, a child of war, who knew nothing about this incredible hatred that permeated and targeted his country and his people. He was a casualty of war, a victim of fear and judgment. And yet he sings John Lennon’s song of hope for this world: Imagine and suddenly we all sit up and listen. With all the emotions compounding each other: guilt, inspiration, pity, love, hope, appreciation, anger, futility. This world is being pulled apart by distrust, money, and power and the one message from this song that can serve as a panacea for all the world’s pain is being brought to us by someone who has endured more in his young life than any of us could ever in a lifetime. How sad and yet, how hopeful at the same time. “I hope someday you’ll join us… and the world will live as one.”