Do you believe we can have peace on earth? Seems like most people want to, but don’t really think it’s possible. Maybe that’s the problem? I’ve often said I believe we can have peace in the world, and most folks just say, “Good luck with that.”
So, this is what some might call a grand challenge. But the way to achieve such an enormous task is to first focus on something we can achieve. That’s what I’m suggesting we do now. Focus on music and believe we can make a difference.
Here’s my rationale: How’d we get to be us? What makes humans unique? We think we’re pretty special, but science is showing more and more that we’re very much like animals and even plants. For example, crows count, mice sing, chimps use tools, trees have social networks, and even plants have sex.
But here’s one thing that pretty much only humans can do: keep a beat. Also, humans can recognize sequences of pitches in songs, even if in different keys, which other animals and even primates can’t really do. You can recognize the “Happy Birthday” song no matter who’s singing it. Birds can sing, but they can’t do that. Many scientists are coming to believe that musicality may have been what led humans to evolve to be such an advanced species.
We are, however, flunking when it comes to putting aside fears and divisions among humans. We’re failing in our obligation as the self-anointed most successful species to end war, halt the degradation of women and the environment, and achieve harmony and sustainability for the good of future generations. What to do?
Intention. Well, how do you get something you want? Money? That helps, but more important I believe is simply intention. For most of us, when we really want something, we get it simply when we put our mind to it. Do you want a sandwich, a new phone, or college education? Nothing can stop you from achieving what you really want.
This lesson was brought home to me recently in The Music Lesson, a quirky yet profound novel by Grammy award winning bass player, Victor Wooten. He says, “Intention is the key to everything.” And you know what? This is consistent with the science of how life works, quantum physics. Everyone thinks that it’s so complex, and it is; particles and waves moving in and out of existence, time being relative, no past or future, and objects coming into existence only when observed. But the truth is simple; just like the observer, we create our own reality; we create by thought. We create our lives, individually and collectively. We manifest our vision. And our collective vision these days has been suffering in fear and division, rather than peace and love.
Our Grand Challenge. So, here’s what we can do; we can decide to use the most powerful force we have, the one that cuts across race, religion, politics, nations, and demographics. The force that may have caused us to be so special. We promote music and musicians.
I’ve been blown away recently as I study music and its power. Music is ubiquitous, in movies, ads, elevators, cars, and even phones. Music can change feelings and moods, crank up a party, or soothe into the sheets. We’ve all experienced the transformative strength of music, maybe even every day.
Musicians create these healing sounds of the universe for us. Musicians are truly phenomenal; years of practice and study—and intention—yield vibrations that cause us to relax our minds, elevate our spirits, and open our hearts. In a true sense, musicians are the “Quantum Physicists of Love!”
And if music and musicians can affect us profoundly at an individual level, why not at a societal level? I think almost all of us appreciate music, but we’re not really aware of how powerful it may be as an instrument for social change. Think about the protest songs of the civil rights movement, and the transformational power of the music gifted to us by Guthrie, Dylan, and the Beatles, not to mention Beethoven, Bach, and Stravinsky, or Coltrane, Ellington, and Armstrong.
Planetary Gigs. So, here’s the idea. Make connections through music, with the intention of doing good, revealing peace, for the benefit of our planet. That’s it; easy and do-able. It’s so simple it just might work.
Connect musically with your friends and family. Bring people to your home to listen to and play music. Support local musicians. Promote music education, such as blues in the schools. Take music lessons. Introduce political activists to drummers, religious folk to singers, lawyers to guitarists, and police to horn players. Invite music into your life and into your soul.
Do all this with intention; with the intention of removing fear and anger, healing division and discrimination, and teaching tolerance and oneness. Simply promote music and musicians with the desire and belief that it will be good for all of us. And so it shall be.
Our New Society. Yes, we can have a new society. We can create a new world where we truly appreciate and enjoy each other and the gift of life we share. This is the world we want, where people take pleasure in family and friends, singing and dancing, doing their passions, and creating a more joyful and peaceful planet together. There’s nothing to hold us back. Let’s actualize a collective belief that we will get what we want. It’s time to up the ante and make our lives meaningful with everything we do, and one way we can do this is through music. The universe is ready. Quantum physics teaches us that we can do whatever we intend.
Imagine that we can achieve it. Visualize what our new world looks like. Know that it will be. It doesn’t matter how we get there. It doesn’t matter what steps we take. I’m suggesting the one thing we try—and enjoy while we’re doing it—is music. Making connections through music, with the intention of creating peace. Why not? What have we got to lose? Let’s bring intention to the hopeful, courageous, and empowering sentiments for peace rising around the world at this time.
Jefferson Glassie is the Chief Spiritual Dude of the Planetary Gigs Society, which has as its mission: Sharing Music and Creating Peace. He also is the author of a recent book, Heaven is Everywhere, which posits that peace is a matter of perspective. He’s also author of Peace and Forgiveness and Poems of Peace and Forgiveness. Check out: www.jeffersonglassie.com.