As a child, the defiant songs
of the 60s and 70s declared
we could change the world.*
As an adult, the songs
of the 80s and 90s mused
“If I could change the world.*”
Now, in passive voice I hear
“I’m waiting, waiting on the
world to change.**”
Were there never things we could fight for, but I thought there were?
Were there things worth fighting for that no longer are?
Are there things worth fighting for that I don’t have the energy to fight?
The “truth” that Harry Potter (and now The Golden Compass) suggested to me is that only youth truly believe they can change the world. Eventually we “grow up” and try to protect what we have and who we have—and look many other ways than the uncomfortable truths. Youth hasn’t given up yet—there’s a fire there that hasn’t been squelched or stomped or merely faded to embers for lack of more fuel.
I once read a quote: “Will all those who feel powerless to influence events please signify by maintaining your usual silence.” At the time I felt it convicted others. Now it convicts me.
And as tired as I am of the tagline of the college where I taught–having seen it “thumbprinted” in so many places that it made me sick–it is positively provocative: create change. Creation is change. Seedling as it may be, it can grow. So I’ll sow.
*Eric Clapton, **John Mayer