For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
I love Stevie Wonder. Have for years. He’s one of the most gifted musicians and songwriters of our time, and a lifelong avatar of peace and love.
He didn’t write “Someday at Christmas”, but he sang it. Initially released as a single in 1966, it was eventually included on his album of the same name, a year later.
And this morning, I have not been able to get it out of my head.
It’s a beautiful song, one with a timeless message of peace and equality.
And the further away we get from 1966, the more we need to hear it.
As bad as times were in 1960’s America, a nation embroiled in civil unrest and a war in Vietnam, it sure seems worse now. Americans are turning against each other – race versus race, class versus class, gender versus gender, religion versus religion – with no resolution in sight.
And little or no regard for the rest of the world. Not our problem, ya know.
Someday still feels a long way off.
Aren’t you tired of waiting? I know I am.
Folks, those of us who’ve been sitting around wishing for Someday need to arrive at the realization that it ain’t ever gonna get here without our help.
Your help. My help.
Now, what you and I do to help is for each of us to determine, but let’s at least make the commitment here and now to do it.
Once I decide what it is I will do, I’ll let y’all know. And please share what you will do, as well, and let’s spur each other to action!
And if that makes me sound like a Pollyannaish dreamer, so be it. I know it’ll be tough. The opposition will be loud and violent. Those who want Someday to never happen will resist with all they have. They will definitely not go quietly.
But I believe, with our help, they will go. And love, justice and truth will prevail.
I’ll bet Stevie would rather not ever sing this song again, because Someday is finally here.
Maybe that’s a ridiculously naive question, but I still think it’s worth asking.
I just don’t know if anyone in Washington bothers asking it anymore. It’s as though the word has become quaint.
An entire generation of Americans has grown up in wartime. Peace, to them, is an abstract concept; maybe even a myth. That’s sad to think about.
Oh, well, I guess the defense contractors are happy, ‘cause their stocks went way up this week because of the events in Iran.
I guess it’s because peace requires maturity and toughness. I mean, think about it: anyone can fire missiles and beat their chest and talk macho. You want to prove how tough you are, have the guts to sit across from your enemy and work out a peace agreement.
I think women could do it if they were in charge. I think they are more acutely aware of the effects of war on children, and that would greatly influence their strategy in these situations.
Peace, not domination, not destruction, should be the objective in foreign relations.
You think Iran isn’t interested in peace? I’m willing to bet a large portion of the population actually is. We just never hear from them.
Just like they probably never hear from us. That’s got to change.
I don’t know how, exactly, but it’s time for those of us who cherish peace to take a stand for it.
Our opportunity, I think, is perilously close to ending.
All the people of the world, living together in harmony and bliss. No fighting, no bullets, no bombs, no dead warriors, no bereaved families, no lying governments. (In this case, at least.)
It’s a concept many of us don’t even think about until this time of year. For much of the world, war is as much a part of our daily routine as breathing, whether observed from a distance or experienced firsthand. War is just another fact of life, and we tacitly accept it.
Then, our minds get pumped with almost nonstop Christmas music, from every store and every radio station, and we get a barrage of Christmas movies and TV specials, and everyone’s heart softens a bit. We gush about what a wonderful time of year it is and, by Jiminy, why can’t it be this way all the time? Why can’t we all be kinder to each other? Why can’t we show more charity to our fellow man?
Why can’t we have peace on earth?
If only the answer was that simple.
It’s not my intent here to debate the causes for war, or its reasons, or its inevitability, or its morality.
There are many facets of war about which many of us disagree, but I would think, and I would hope, that we could all agree on this: war is overwhelmingly, unbearably, heartbreakingly sad, due to the terribly high cost of human lives it always exacts.
And to our stubborn refusal to ever, ever learn from it.
We can all wish for peace, we can pray for it, we can sing for it, we can petition for it, and we should do all those things, as long as we have to.
But tonight, when I go to sleep, I’m going to close my eyes, and dream of it.
And what a beautiful dream it will be.
As the song goes, “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”
Merry Christmas, everyone. Love and peace to you all.