All these years later, Hal David’s lyrics about what the world needs now still ring true.
David was the American lyricist behind the 1965 hit song What the World Needs Now is Love, and the more I see, read and hear of the horrible events that take place throughout the world on a daily basis, his words and composer Burt Bacharach’s sweet melody pop into my head.
It’s a simple notion that the world could use more kindness and understanding, but it is often one that gets overlooked when we are facing adversity and challenges.
It seems so much easier to simply hate those that are different from us, hold different views or think differently than we do.
But hate takes its toll on everyone, turning optimists into pessimists and givers into takers, and it can spread like an infection when left unchecked.
It can be so easy to fall into the habit of hating, that we don’t even recognize we are doing it until someone calls us out.
Think about your internal monologue, that little voice inside of your head that comments on the world around you.
Was your first thought about the lady walking by you negative or positive?
Did you see the man sitting on the sidewalk and immediately jump to a conclusion about his circumstance and, therefore, who he is?
When someone challenged your opinion, did you give them the benefit of the doubt and hear them out, or did you immediately write them off?
I once heard a theory that the first thought that pops into your head is what you’ve been conditioned to think, but what you think next is what defines you.
This is something I have been trying to practice in my own life, choosing to see the good in others, rather than jumping to conclusions or assuming the worst.
What I love about the song that singer Jackie DeShannon first gave a voice to is the underlying lesson that as we continue to evolve and adapt and create new things, the one thing our world truly needs more of is unconditional, unwavering love for everyone — no exceptions, no caveats, just love for every being on this planet.
And I think in order to do this, it’s going to be unfair. You’re going to give love more than you get it.
You’re going to have to put yourself out there, and you’ll likely get hurt, probably more than once.
But that’s love when you think about it — taking the time to care whether or not it will benefit you. Because it isn’t about you. Love is selfless. Love is patient. Love is kind.
And right now, I’m just saying love feels like it is in short supply.
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Jordyn Thomson is a reporter with the Western News.