10.23.2020 Bend The Curve

I have a new song out today! You can listen to it HERE. I’d like to share a few thoughts about it with you. ❤️

This song is about having the courage to speak and act for what it right. It is about peacefully standing up for equality and justice—racial justice, economic justice, LGBTQIA justice, environmental justice. In my mind, they are all part of the same justice. 

We are one body. One human family, one earth family—animals, plants, minerals, chemicals, etc.,—and we all depend upon one another for survival. The sooner we arrive together at this place of consciousness and start acting out of this knowledge, the sooner we will realize the promise of a peaceful world. 

These ideas may seem quaint, naive, and unrealistic to some, but fear does have a way of making love seem impractical or silly.

True love takes a deep and abiding courage and vulnerability. That is what the people on the list at the end of this song have demonstrated in their lives. That’s the kind of courage we need more of in this world from you and me.

—Still reading? Here’s more about writing the song—

I was sitting in my house a few weeks ago with my sons, Liam and Luke, and my wife, Amanda. They weren’t at school, and we were working from home. We were trying to do our part to, as scientists and statisticians would say, “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 case numbers, so that the health care system wouldn’t be overwhelmed, and so that we could buy some time as a society, in hopes that a cure or a vaccine would be developed. 

This was the same time that the world was starting to have an awakening around racial injustice and the killing of George Floyd and so many innocent black people at the hands of police and others. So, as I sat in my house that day, thinking about the pandemic, I suddenly started thinking about another curve—one talked about in a quote from a 19th century abolitionist, Theodore Parker. He said, 

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.[63]” 

That quote was paraphrased and popularized a century later in a sermon by Martin Luther King, in which he said “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

As the Black Lives Matter protests were happening all over the world and people made countless numbers of statements on their social media platforms standing in solidarity with the protestors and with the lives and life stations of all black, indigenous, and people of color—as people wanted their voice to be counted, gave a platform to black voices, changed band names, took down confederate symbols, took down statues of known racists from history, held vigils and protests, it dawned on me that this arc of the moral universe DOES bend toward justice, but IT DOESN’T DO IT ON IT’S OWN. It doesn’t do it automatically. 

It takes people like us to stand up and be counted, to say “this is wrong.” This is unjust. And this is how the arc has always bent toward justice, with people having the courage to potentially alienate a friend or a family member or a co-worker, or to potentially ruffle the wrong feathers and maybe even put yourself in danger, to stand for what is right.

And to me, racial justice is just one part of justice in the moral universe. There is also environmental justice, justice for the planet, which means paying attention to science—that divine gift of discovery, our collective eyes and ears on the earth—so that we can better understand this creation so that we can better take care of it (and, by extension, ourselves). It’s economic justice, justice for the poor of all races and genders. It’s justice for LGBTQIA people, and really for all people who are fighting for equality and for legitimacy just for being who they are and for speaking truth to power. This is the justice that Jesus and Martin Luther King and Galileo and Nelson Mandela and Ghandi and St. Francis and so many others talked about and stood up for. 

And so, for all of these reasons, I was inspired to write this song. It’s called “Bend The Curve.” I hope you like it.