Seventies music to me was the best of what I dreamed of. It gave me a sense
of relation to the world. I was drawn in like a moth to light through the
emotion and meaning hidden in the lyrics. |
I was thinking about the old days when I was hit with a moment of sobering
and sad reflection after reading an article in the December 8 issue of Fort
Collins' Forum. Trena Anastasia has words of wisdom imploring others, in a
broad sense, to watch what they say. Her article is titled, "A We-Mage of
Respect" not an "I-Mage of Respect," which impressed me. We all need to
take stock of the word respect. She states, "We must as a united people,
present ourselves as a nation that respects the perspectives of others. We
have to listen and care."
Recollection of an incident in February of 1989 flickered. The media
released a spurious headline that all but ruined the life of a great
musician and dammed the flow of useful stories in his meaningful lyrics.
We may not agree with others’ perspectives and perception of life, but we
have an obligation to discern when and where to utilize our "freedom of
speech." Having rights through the First Amendment does not give us the
right to barrage others with our opinion in hurtful and negative ways.
Remember Cat Stevens? He said, "The problem with a society that believes in
absolute freedom is that they're living in a dream, because there is no such
thing. There has never been a time when people haven't been compelled to
follow certain rules. They've forgotten that along with freedom must come
responsibility, and liberation is a different word from freedom."
Yes, that musician I speak of is Cat Stevens. He is a living legend in the
world of music. I am not musically inclined and frankly haven't listened to
much music since those days. I think maybe because the heart and soul I
related to disappeared when Cat did.
He had become a convert to Islam and was harangued over it universally. From
then to 1995, he was out of the music world and others, like myself, really
missed him. He kept busy during those sixteen years enriching the Muslim
world with his presence by building schools and spearheading charity
efforts, and he's writing and performing music again.
However, Cat is still haunted by that fateful report in a now defunct
newspaper, "Unfortunately the monstrous myth it created still survives."
Cat Stevens, known as Yusaf Islam since 1989, in his own words says, "The
Life Of The Last Prophet(s) is mine! Rushdie's book, by his own confession,
is based on fiction - mine is based on facts! Therefore people are free;
they now have a choice, so let them listen and see who they are more
inclined to believe. That is all I wish to say on that matter."
We must respect the perspective of others and follow rules, be responsible
and discerning if we are to be truly free and liberated from our own
misconceptions especially. More words of wisdom come to mind spoken by Don
Miguel Ruiz in his book titled, "The Four Agreements," which are, "Be impeccable with
your word." It's as simple as that. Say what you mean and mean what you
say, and please give it some thought before you say it, keeping things in
the proper context, because first there was the Word, and the word is God,
no matter what book you get it from. Get on the Peace Train.