Welcome to Guitar of the Week. We are glad you are here. What a week! We are heartbroken over the tragic events of Tuesday, September 11th and we know you are too. So many beautiful people with their lives forever changed. We are all sending our prayers, best wishes and thoughts unceasingly. Everyone I have spoken with knows someone who has lost a loved one. For you we send special prayers that you may be comforted. Perhaps this statement from the April 8, 2001 Guitar of the Week would be of some consolation, “But through experience I now know that whether we remain or depart this earthly plain of existence, we are always attended by a limitless loving presence that is forever unchanging.”
Some feel as if it is a dark and hopeless time for humanity but I find comfort and clarity when I recall what Gandhi had to say over 60 years ago:
“When in despair I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won; there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.”
We have grown even in the 60 years since Gandhi made this statement. It was a mere 500 years ago that the type of behavior we saw on Tuesday was a normal reaction when one group was not pleased with another. It was only a little over 200 years ago that Thomas Jefferson and his friends decided to create a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. That had never been done before. There was Gandhi who gave to the world non-violent reform and Martin Luther King who offered this great nation a completely different way of thinking and treating each other—and there have been so many other great souls.
At one time the law read that an adulteress was to be dragged to the gates of the city and stoned to death. Now we have programs for unwed mothers and equal rights amendments, social workers who watch over the welfare of our children and people who care about the environment—and the list goes on and on.
Today in New York and Washington D.C. we have the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and countless others tirelessly helping. There are so many wonderful and hard working people of all ethnic persuasions volunteering to help that some had to be turned away. That is America in all its wonderful diversity and depth of heart. I feel blessed to be part of it. We are a caring people who truly wants a healthier world and have spent the better part of our 200-plus years working and struggling for it. But I believe we are now seeing the results of those endeavors and conflicts and why it has been worth the effort.
From the ashes of this horrifying event we are experiencing an outpouring of caring, not just from the remarkable people of the United States but from extraordinary and caring people all over the world. I think this horrific plot that the terrorists must have assumed had gone so well for them, has backfired in their faces. They have now become scorned, cast out and hunted by the whole world community. This planet is sending a united message loud and clear: We have grown beyond this type of conduct. It is no longer acceptable and will not be tolerated. Peace and responsible behavior toward all is what is desired now! This is also something history has never seen before.
So if we and our neighbors continue to choose to make wise and careful choices we can remove this threat to our world and continue to build a planet that more deeply than ever before understands that war and suffering have become unallowable.
Martin Luther King saw this and even greater days coming when he said, “There is a great day ahead. The future is on its side. It’s going now through the wilderness, but the Promised Land is ahead.”