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Wonderful World

Matthew Smith

Few things in the world can bring people together when it seems the divide is as vast as the ocean. But music can be one of those things that gathers us together and if but for a moment draw us closer as a people. It doesn’t matter where we’re from, the color of our skin, our religious or political beliefs, or the language we speak, our beliefs don’t have to line up, nor do we have to agree on everything. The one thing I hope can happen is that we can learn to see each other as human beings just trying to be ourselves while allowing the same for everyone else. We don’t have to see eye to eye to value our peers on this place we call earth.

Regardless of circumstances, music seems to be a tool that soothes the soul of anyone that will listen. We can, if we try, learn to see the wonder and beauty in this world and the good in people instead of always looking for and focusing on the bad. We can experience it through many outlets like taking a walk with a friend, watching a video, reading someone’s writings, a simple conversation, or just listening to music.

One of my favorite songs is sung by Louis Armstrong. “What a Wonderful World“. Its simplicity is part of its beauty, nothing complicated, just simple words with the most profound meaning.

Rick Moore wrote a piece a year or so ago that gives some great history and value to the song. Here is a little snippet from that article: 

What a Wonderful World” was written by the team of jazz producer Bob Thiele (under the pseudonym “George Douglas”) and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee George David Weiss. The original plan in 1967 was for the gravel-voiced, quirky jazz legend Louis Armstrong to release the song as a piece that might quell some of the racial and political unrest in America, given its optimism and celebration of life. But, because of the lack of promotion, the record didn’t go anywhere in the U.S., though other countries embraced it.

In 1988 though, thanks to its inclusion in the Robin Williams movie Good Morning, Vietnam, “What a Wonderful World” finally claimed a spot on the U.S. top 40 charts. Armstrong, sadly, was long dead by this time. “What a Wonderful World,” like so many songs that resonate in perpetuity with the masses, expresses simple ideas in a simply constructed piece. “I see trees of green, red roses too/I see them bloom for me and you/And I think to myself what a wonderful world” – that’s the first verse, and it says more in 25 words than many songs say in their entirety.”

Despite all that’s going on in the world (and you can hear and see the stories daily) the world is truly a wonderful place. Maybe your circumstances tell you it’s not, but I believe we all can find beauty beyond the tragedies and the sadness (and we’ve all been touched by them) that seem to be prevalent in these days we live in.

As saying goes, be the change you want to see in the world. So let’s try it.

There is always hope. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a new beginning. Hope is what we hold onto. Hope is what keeps us going. Don’t lose hope for it’s all we have. Be the hope. Be hopeful.” – Amy Bleuel

Learn to see the good. Learn to see the beauty. I think we owe it to ourselves and this world to do so. We have to be better. Let it start with me. Let it start with you. Let’s be the change our world needs. Let is start with the simple reminder that this truly is a wonderful world.

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