The idea is so simple: Don’t stand alone this year. Join a chorus.
It’s in line with our motto at ReadTheSpirit.com magazine and in our publishing house: “Good media builds good community.” We’re all about making positive connections—at its most basic, that’s what “media” is: connection.
As this New Year begins, we’re all thinking about fresh resolutions. That makes it a great time to look around the world for new friendships. Earlier, in our Interfaith Peacemakers section, we profiled Playing for Change, a worldwide network of musicians who simply ask you to sing along—share the music—and spread the message of peace. Since 2002, sound engineer Mark Johnson has connected thousands of creative men, women and children all around the planet—by inviting them to sing along with popular songs.
For New Year 2016, this network contributed bits and pieces of music to a rousing rendition of a traditional African folk tune: Pemba Laka (see the video below). If you visit the Playing for Change website, there are lots of ways to participate—one way is as easy as enjoying the music and sharing the story of this planet-encircling chorus.
‘THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY’
This line—“Think globally, act locally!”—dates back at least to the 1960s and some scholars argue it goes all the way back to the dawn of modern urban planning 100 years ago. You may feel the line is becoming a cliche but it’s a good way to think about your New Year’s search for ways to contribute to world peace. Playing for Change invites people to step onto a global stage—if you’re a musician and are able to contribute to those performances. But the real action—even in Playing for Change—is the person-by-person sharing of the music along with the inspiring story behind these tunes.
So, as 2016 begins—look around your neighborhood. Scour your whole region for ways to become a peacemaker.
Near our home base in Michigan, the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (the IFLC) boldly declared 2016 a Year of Faith and Peace. The IFLC is encouraging people to use #YearofFaithandPeace in social media this year to mark Facebook updates, blog posts and Tweets that might inspire peaceful action. Simple enough, right? Maybe that’s an effort you want to make this year—remembering and adding that hash tag.
“Amid growing fears about hate and extremism, a leading interfaith group in metro Detroit announced Tuesday extensive plans to increase cooperation among diverse groups, declaring 2016 as A Year of Faith and Peace. A range of religious leaders gathered at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn to support the events by the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit, which will include exchanges and educational events throughout the year at houses of worship across southeast Michigan. … As fears have increased in recent weeks, organizers say the events planned for 2016 take on an added urgency and importance.”
Want to learn more about that Michigan effort? Visit the IFLC’s website and click on the link to A Statement of Solidarity.
Come on! Find a way to join the chorus!
Click on the video below to hear the newly released Pemba Laka chorus from Playing for Change.