“Eve of Destruction” is a 1960’s protest song written by PF Sloan and made famous by singer Barry McGuire. The lyrics refer to 1960’s issues of fighting against communism and for civil rights, but I think the words are as poignant and true on this Memorial Day, 2014, as ever. Here is the last verse of the song:
Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
but when your return, it’s the same old place,
the poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
you can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
hate your next-door-neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
and you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.
Here is a link to a You Tube video of Barry McGuire performing the song.
I am particularly taken by “hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace.” This is a giant problem in our world, particularly in America. We forget our oneness, our responsibility to love and care for our neighbor as Jesus showed us. Yet, as a Christian religious culture, we say grace in the name of Jesus when we bless our meals. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this? If we keep down this path of hatred and divisiveness, eventually we will meet our destruction as a planet.
On this Memorial Day, I am thinking about my neighbors, the poor soldiers who have given their bodies and their lives in fighting rich men’s wars for rich men’s definitions of freedom. Their pain is my pain. I am sending Reiki healing energy to the injured soldiers and their families, and to the families who have experienced the ultimate loss: a fallen father or mother, sister or brother, or child. The earth trembles with the pain, injustice, and destruction of war.
I also memorialize and send Reiki to the hurting victims and soldiers of our American culture and societal wars:
- The young woman who lost her baby in the war on the poor because her boss made her choose between her pregnancy and her job.
- The Muslim victims of terror when their mosque is graffitied and defaced by the “armies of God” in a Christian town.
- The progressive Christians who are slandered, excommunicated, and driven out of town in the war on liberalism by fundamental churches.
- The homosexual teenagers cast out on the street by their intolerant families in the war for “traditional values,” and who face bullying and hopelessness that drive them to suicide.
- The people wrongly imprisoned for minor offenses or no offense at all because of the unjust, imperfect war on drugs and war on crime.
The list of human pain and suffering goes on and on. Jesus befriended and healed “sinners” like these, and ultimately he died in the greatest memorial of love that we have ever seen. Let’s follow his example and pause on this Memorial Day to consider love and our oneness. Let’s end war on each other and embrace the beauty in every life.
Happy Memorial Day, friends.