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Submitted on
June 19, 2012
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In the 1960s, Ray Stevens wrote a song titled "Everything Is Beautiful" and it won him a grammy. Perhaps it was the idealism of those times or maybe a personal philosophy that gave birth to this song. It starts out with children singing "Jesus Loves the Little Children", a song I remember singing in church when I was a child.
"Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world"

Like Disney's "It's a Small World", this song has a worm like infectious tune that rolls around in your brain like a marble in a barrel. A child, once he has learned this song, will hum it, whistle it, and sing it until adult ears bleed. Not only is the tune contagious, the lyrics are ideal and Pollyanna to the point of near myopic blindness.
After one chorus of "Jesus Loves the Little Children", Mr. Stevens' song moves into his "Everything Is Beautiful, in It's Own Way" mantra.
The notion he puts forth in this song is that everyone and everything is beautiful in it's own way. That if we CHOOSE to see the good, choose to find the positive, and choose to open our hearts to love, then …"the World's gonna find a way".

The first thing I want to say is, whatever you do, DON'T listen to this song on YouTube or anywhere else because it will stick in your head. In less than an hour you will be begging for some Beatles, the Who, or a good dose of Led Zeppelin.
But beyond that, I have a bit of a dilemma. I am embarrassed to admit, I actually agree with Mr. Stevens… in theory. I truly WISH it was that way. I WANT to believe the best of people. I WISH the world would live in love. Personally, I choose to live my life that way. I choose to believe the best of people, trust people, and see the best in them … BUT… at 62 years of age I can say it's not only incorrect, it's dangerous to walk through life with rose colored glasses.
I have had people steal from me, cheat me, and deceive me in many ways, but I STILL choose to believe the best. I choose to be this way because I cannot live my life in paranoid, bitter, and angry resentment for the few times that people have chosen to be dishonest, deceitful, or deceptive.
As the old saying goes, I can't allow "one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch" for me. I love life. I love people. I am happy when I see generosity in the world such as the relief efforts for the tsunami in Japan. I am happy when I see a child share a toy.

"Everything Is Beautiful in It's Own Way" is an ideal I wish were true, but when I go downtown Los Angeles, I won't leave valuables in my car and I won't leave it unlocked. What I WILL do, is be the best person I can to everyone I meet. I will try to add something good to the world. And through personal experience, I now have a fairly perceptive filter on who to trust.

The way I see it, not everything is beautiful in the world, but I can add my small part to what is beautiful and I can revel in all the beauty around me. People who refuse to love again because of having experienced heartbreak, are protecting and empty house. Love will teach us freedom and experience will teach us discretion.

Now if only I could get that stupid song out of my head. I'm going on YouTube and look for "Stairway to Heaven"!!! Yeah… gimme some Led Zep and a Heineken!
  • Listening to: the hum of the G5
  • Drinking: Heineken
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:iconartin2007:
artin2007 Aug 17, 2012  Professional General Artist
As an antidote, please consider some big classical pieces, the roots of all our popular and jazz genres, after all. A good starting place is the Disney pieces in Fantasia WITHOUT animation or pictures.
They are called "tone-poems" for a reason....
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:iconmondspeer:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I see the same tension between my decission to see people beautifull and the world in its pain and strain.
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:iconcomplimentarybrick:
complimentarybrick Jul 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP!!!
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:icongouv:
Gouv Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
As always, it has been a Pleasure reading your Journal. Thank you.
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Jun 27, 2012  Professional Photographer
thank YOU!
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:iconalexisquimby:
AlexisQuimby Jun 26, 2012  Student Filmographer
Now that was a beautiful thing.
Hah Led Zeppelin . . . sounds like my father.
Here is a good link - Dazed & Confused. This should clear your head
[link]
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:iconcurlandgrazes:
curlandgrazes Jun 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The last bit where you talk about one's refusal to love again is only protection for an empty house (words along those lines). It reminds me of a quote I have tattooed on my chest: "La libertad solo existe cuando el amor esta presente" - Freedom only exists when love is present - Paulo Coehlo.
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:iconmaddysettle:
MaddySettle Jun 23, 2012  Student General Artist
This is exactly how I feel.
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:iconmaxteg:
Maxteg Jun 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
*slow clap* :clap: I to live this way because I was raised to be that way. To find the good in people, and yes we all get burned by it. But I honestly wouldn't wanna live all closed up and afraid of the good in people. Michael as always I find your journals as another story through life, and everyone of your stories makes me feel better about myself and my life. Thanks bud!
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:iconrotten-alice:
I think thats the best thing anyone can do. Hope for the best in people while preparing for their worst and doing ones best to spread positivity and live in love.
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