“There are not many things in life you can be sure of, except rain falls from the clouds, and sun lights up the sky, and hummingbirds do fly.”
Linda Creed writer/George Benson, Whitney Houston
The year was 1977.
Picture men with sideburns, long and thick. Girls with high waisted jeans and tie dyed bandanas who walked unsteadily on chunky heeled shoes. It was a time of free love, happiness, peace, and contentment.
We had brought our people home from Viet Nam and the world was healing.
I remember having two hometown friends who had brothers that went to war in the draft. One came home and one did not. It was a crap shoot.
My constant prayer was please end the war in Viet Nam.
The point is, it did end.
In college in 1977, much emphasis was placed on empathy. If we hadn’t been aware of all the different people in the world, programs and movies were reaching across the globe to introduce us to new cultures, foods, religious beliefs, and lifestyles. We were open to learning. In fact, some of us adopted and blended these new things into our own lives.
I had always had a love of music and in college it was funk. War, Earth, Wind and Fire, Isley Brothers, and Al Green were all the 8-tracks in my car. Music was at the forefront of my life in my early 20’s. I have since re-purchased Al Green’s greatest hits. Life was easy and fun. We played euchre on porches. We danced when we went out at night. It was as if we were trying to cram all the life and fun into every minute.
Let’s face it. Much of our childhood was focused on War. Viet Nam, a far off and unknown vacuum that had sucked the joy from our lives for years, hanging over us like a black cloud, had finally lifted. We were in the celebratory phase of life.
George Benson came to WMU that year. I still think he is the best! I liked his version of the “Greatest Love of All” better than any other singer. As we sat there, near the front, he did not disappoint. During tough times, I have to remind myself of why those lyrics were so comforting:
“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride, to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.
Everybody’s searching for a hero. People need someone to look up. I never found anyone who’d fulfill my needs. A lonely place to be, so I learned to depend on me.
I DECIDED LONG AGO, NEVER TO WALK IN ANYONE’S SHADOW. IF I FAIL, IF I SUCCEED, AT LEAST I’LL LIVE LIKE I BELIEVE. NO MATTER WHAT THEY TAKE FROM ME THEY CAN’T TAKE AWAY MY DIGNITY. BECAUSE THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL WAS HAPPENING TO ME. I FOUND THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL INSIDE OF ME.
AND IF CHANCE THAT SPECIAL PLACE THAT YOU’VE BEEN DREAMING OF, LEADS YOU TO A LONELY PLACE: FIND. YOUR. STRENGTH. IN. LOVE.
Take care of yourselves.