Give Peace a Chance

November 8, 2009
By Taylor Thornburg BRONZE, Jefferson City, Missouri
Taylor Thornburg BRONZE, Jefferson City, Missouri
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Woodstock 1969: 500,000 young men and women gathered together for four days and three nights without a single instance of violence. Half a million completely different, culturally, racially, economically different people in a single place and never a single violent action happening within half a week’s time? What’s happened to us? What happened to us all? What’s happened to America? It’s more than just laziness. The American people are more than apathetic. We’re controlled. Yes, half of it is our fault, and we the people need to take responsibility for what we could have done and what we’ve failed to do. However, half of the blame belongs starkly, and without a doubt, on the shoulders of corrupt businessmen, monopolies, greedy world bankers, and the tyranny of big business.

Man kind made leaps and bounds in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, but corrupt world bankers and monopolies ruined the world for everyone. After thousands of years, man kind was on the fast track to understanding each other. We collectively, as a species, together saw the ghost of the shadow of the truth: that man kind is man kind.

Not socialist or capitalist.
Not American or Iranian.
Not black or white.
Not right or wrong.
Not even brother or sister…

We were just a hair’s width from understanding, as a species, we are exactly that: a single species. We are a single body, a single mind, a single element, we are human. We are not the borders we build, the monuments we erect, the flags we raise, the flags we lower; we are not a quick buck…. And big business messed it all up. They assassinated the right people and spread the right rumors. After our heroes are gone, we believe in who can cast the more pleasing shadow. We chose to follow in the footsteps of corporate America. We chose to follow monopolies of medicine that have choked out nearly any competition with cheap drugs that have side effects worse than the disease they cure. We chose to follow businesses that gave us what we wanted and gave it to us cheap. These businesses should not have sold themselves out to the extent their executives went to, but the American people should have been paying attention to the oversea sweatshop’s where the prostitute’s product was produced. Slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. If an overseas child a decade younger than I am made the shirt, the shoes, the clothes I’m wearing, I want them paid for the good job. Not treated cheaply like big business would want me to believe they are. They’re every little bit as human as I am. If they’re not being paid the seven dollars I am for standing behind a desk and folding clothes, then pay me the nickels and dimes they’re paid for the miserable hours and conditions they’re forced into.

So, what exactly do I want? I’m a passionate actor/poet/ singer-songwriter. I don’t want to be a politician, I don’t want a podium to make pretty speeches behind, I don’t want money, I don’t want power.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

That’s the golden rule of the world. Time and time again, from bankers to presidents to prime ministers, the exchange of power in cultures around the world has set even the boldest, the kindest, the most sincere, honest, and brightest men astray. Power is not what I want. Therein lays the charm of becoming a traveling actor/musician. As an artist you have no real power, but with enough time and effort you can achieve the means and influence to bring about the change that the world needs.
I don’t want fancy cars…
I don’t want giant houses…

I don’t want new clothes…

I don’t want the newest…

I don’t want to be the most handsome…

I don’t want to be the most charming…

I don’t want to have the best smile…
…I want African revolutionaries to quit using children to fight their wars.

….I want women and children to be treated as well as men everywhere in the world.
…I want no man, woman, or child to be more equal than the other….I want workers to be paid properly.
…I want color, place of origin, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or creed to be seen as just that..
..Not a handicap.
…I want AIDS to finally be resolved.
….I want peace.
…And I want the world to stop.
…And I want the world to breathe.
…And I want all the world to see.
I may not know anyone, you may not know anyone, from Canada, from Mexico, from Brazil, from the Amazon, from Germany, from Italy, from Poland, from Dubai, from Ethiopia, from the Congo, from Sudan, from Iraq, or Iran, or China, or Malaysia, or even the Philippines…But what makes them any less human than you or me? I’m going to give it a shot. Somewhere in our culture, somewhere deep in our hearts, as a human, I think we all want a rest. We all want peace. Somewhere in our souls, our souls want to be together again. And no one’s going to get there through houses, money, or women. Sure, some of us are going to have to stop being lazy, but those people are already out there. They’re the foundation. They spread the word and win the world back from corrupt authorities and big business… and… all of a sudden… Could it be? A first floor has appeared over the foundation. And that first floor, drawing on the words and inspiration of the foundation build up a second floor, then a third floor, then a fourth, and sooner or later we’ve got a monument every bit as big as big business.
Think about it…If one person shows up with a megaphone, the world at large will think he’s just some angry crazy with a megaphone. If two people show up… Well, they might call you a couple of queers. If three people show up… Hey, maybe we’ve got some kind of organization coming together. Maybe the world at large should take interest in what this organization has to say. If fifty people gather together, it might as well be a peaceful protest of the wrongs the world at large has committed and maybe the world at large will look down, shuffle its feet and twiddle its thumbs. But if, just once more, 5oo,000 people gathered together… 500,000 young men and women… Well, the world at large might just have a movement on its hands. And at that point, the world at large will have no choice but to bury its face in its hands, shake its head, and give peace a chance. We don’t need old men in new suits…We don’t need politicians and statesmen…We don’t need a black man with big ears and a poetic manner of public speaking…Before we have change….Before we, the people of America, the people of the world, can start a movement of love, of understanding, of peace, of coming together and being a family…We need to turn off the T.V., turn off the computer, and come together regardless of what we have, what we don’t have, what we’ve got to give, and what we’ll never give…We can all give peace a chance.

The author's comments:
I wrote this piece after a totally life changing epiphany. It includes references to John Lennon, Arlo Guthrie, and the likes. Enjoy

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