While I’ve been trying to put in my regular ‘two-pence worth’ in The Operating Room, the Tuesday night program on WINN FM, I haven’t written something for public consumption in quite a while.
I’m moved to do so now, as I reflect on our National Anthem.
It seems to me that we’ve betrayed its mission and its sacredness. And to our great loss.
For example, I believe that there’s too much ugliness in “our land of beauty”. Too much ugly attitude, too much ugly behaviour, too much ugliness in the way we’ve abandoned values, principles, dignity and grace. And there’s been too much of this ugliness for too long.
There’s too much conflict in a nation where we claim that “peace abounds”.
In the Anthem, we proclaim that our “children stand free on the strength of will and love”, while the truth is that many of us are quick to victimize and even demonize others who exercise their freedom to differ from our view or persuasion, and we’re intolerant like that because there just isn’t enough will and love amongst us to support, encourage and celebrate that freedom of others to be different, which, incidentally, is the same will and love that are required to form the foundation of a free, democratic and progressive society.
And speaking of love, where is it? We’re not a nation of love. How can we be when there’s so much hatred and violence (both literal and otherwise) in the place?
We also say that “with God in all our struggles”, we’re “a nation bound together with a common destiny”.
Human beings are made up of two components: the physical and the spiritual. Some of us express our spirituality through organized religion, while others do so in a different way.
Whichever option we take (and that too we’re intolerant of), it’s clear that an understanding of, and a grounding in, the spiritual realm gives us far greater perspective of the physical realm, and offers us a greater chance of living complete, better blended and meaningful lives as human beings. Sadly, though, too many of us exist only in the physical realm, which means that we ignore spirituality. So we’ve abandoned God.
Too many of us have become totally consumed by materialism, and this puts us on a path of desperation and dissatisfaction.
A people who abandon their spirituality are still a people who are bound together with a common destiny, yes, but theirs is a common destiny of inevitable ruin.
Further, we declare that we’re stalwarts “for justice and liberty” and that we honour our nation “through wisdom and truth”, but do we? What justice, what liberty, what wisdom and what truth are we talking about? Where are they?
And, finally, we say that “no sword nor spear can conquer” us because God will “sure defend” us. But we’ve already abandoned God, so why would He waste His eternal but precious time defending us, worse so given our demeaning, degrading and destructive attitudes and behaviour towards ourselves and each other?
And how can we, as one people, one nation, defend ourselves against swords or spears or whatever else is held against us when we’re so busty destroying each other? How can we defend ourselves while we weaken ourselves?
Makes no sense.
And maybe neither the sword nor the spear is the weapon of choice these days. Instead, we’re destroying ourselves and each other with guns, knives, machetes, poison posing as food, and under active lifestyles that are causing alarming levels of diseases among us; we’re destroying ourselves and each other with the wholesale reception of toxic foreign social, cultural and corporate influences; and with anger, hatred, greed, spite, impulsiveness and irresponsible attitudes.
We’re engaged in damaging and destroying our natural environmental, and in policies and programs that disturb mankind’s harmony with nature and with his brother and sister. We’re divisive and divided, under-productive, inefficient and corrupt.
Now tell me: which part of our National Anthem do we not get? Or do we get it but we simply don’t want to live by it?
Why did the musical and creative wizardry that resides in the head of Kenrick Georges come up with such magnificence and nobility of purpose and mission in the composition of a National Anthem for a people who, up to now, almost 35 years later, have proven to be unworthy of it?
Are our children taught the National Anthem more as a song to be sung on certain occasions, and not so much as a part of the moral, ethical and civic compass for life and good citizenship in this land of beauty?
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