Try to love

Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberley Ryan holds hands with Afghan children as they walk to the local children's shura in Afghanistan's Helmand province, 2012. Photo by Cpl. Ed Galo, U.S. Marine Corps, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberley Ryan holds hands with Afghan children
as they walk to the local children’s shura in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, 2012.
Photo by Cpl. Ed Galo, U.S. Marine Corps, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Some may come and some may go
We will surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

— lyrics from the Youngbloods’ song “Get Together

I was ten years old when the Youngbloods first released their version of this song, but it remained popular for several years after that.  I always liked it, and recently I’ve been listening to it quite a bit after rediscovering it on Prime.  Needless to say, at this age and stage of my life it’s the second verse (quoted above) that jumps out at me most, but the entire song is lovely, full of an otherworldly hope.

If you have time, please listen to the song– I linked it above, in a YouTube posting with lyrics. It may be nearly 50 years since it became a hit, but it’s more relevant now than ever.  It talks about the role fear plays in creating division and destruction, and acknowledges we don’t have all the answers.  But it points us in the right direction. I hope you’ll find it as uplifting as I do.

“I will show you the most excellent way,” wrote the apostle Paul as he introduced his famous treatise on love as the most important of all traits we can cultivate.  His description of love goes far beyond the reality we see in popular imagination or human tendency.  On reading his words, we might feel inclined to answer “Yes, but…” and mentally exclude certain situations from his all-encompassing specifications.  It just seems too hard, maybe impossible, to actually live these words, especially that sweeping, repetitive “always.”

Perhaps that’s why the Youngbloods’ hit song encourages us to try to love.”  We may not always succeed, but we have to start somewhere, and we can head in the right direction even if we are a long way off.

Happy birthday to my beloved sister, who does better at this than almost anyone I know.

 

 

 

22 Comments

  1. Julia, this has always been one of my favorite songs. Such optimism!! I will remember to always “TRY”. Love to you and the family. You are always in my prayers as I walk each morning. Love and Light. Cherie

    • Cherie, I’m so glad you like that song too! We probably grew up listening to a lot of the same music. As I get older, it means a lot to find people who can remember the music I loved when I was much younger. 🙂 Thanks so much for keeping us in your prayers! You are ever in mine. Love and light to you too!

  2. Amy

    Happy Birthday to Carla. This is a lovely thought for the day. I also love the photo. It is encouraging to know that somewhere in the world that we only hear about as a fearful awful place has time for laughter and love. I hope your day is filled with love. I love you. A

    • Thank you Amy! I too find encouragement in knowing that everywhere there are people smiling at one another and reaching for each other’s hands. I cannot imagine how we would survive the worst parts of this life if we did not have the hope that Anne Frank so sweetly wrote about when she said “I still believe that people are really good at heart.” I will always cherish the memory of visiting the “Secret Annex” with you in Amsterdam!

  3. The one encompassing point of Paul’s treatise on love is that it requires and emptying of oneself. There in lies any difficulty to love. Too often in our culture too many misunderstand love’s nature. It is not a 50/50 proposition. It is a 100/100 proposition. With each lover emptying themselves completely to the other. “For it is in giving that we receive.” And love can’t be taken. It can only be given.
    As you can see, Julia. A wonderful, thought provoking post.
    -Alan

    • Thank you, Alan! It’s a lofty goal, but one that is worth striving for, and certainly it comes with its own rewards all along the way.

  4. Julia, I love this song and realized as I was watching it that I had some of the lyrics wrong. I’m known for that in my family…I just sing what I think they say. 😉 It used to drive my sister nuts.

    Happy birthday to your sister. She sounds like a wonderful person. Perhaps I’ll have the chance to meet her one day.

    Thanks for your post, and for the encouragement to “try to love.”

    • Alys, I’m so happy to learn you like that song too! We were blessed with a lot of really good music in the 60’s and 70’s. About singing the wrong words…I think we all do that! Drew insists that for years when he would hear me playing Carly Simon’s song “The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of” (one of my favorites), he thought she was saying “Stuff that green tomato.” Not sure whether I can quite believe that, but he was only in kindergarten at the time, so maybe… 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead! We are supposed to be getting some California-like weather the next couple of days — in the mid 60’s! But alas, only for a couple of days, so I’d better enjoy it!

      • Julia, you are so right! Fabulous music came from that time. One of the fun aspects of Pandora (or Prime) is listening to music by an era. I’m so happy to hear you’ll have mild temps in the days ahead. Enjoy them while they last.

        • Thanks Alys, I had a super blissful (3-mile!) walk this evening. California Dreaming! 🙂

          • Julia, that’s wonderful! Ahhhhhh

            • Alys, I took TWO walks today! Cold and/or rainy weather returning tomorrow, so you know what they say about seizing the day…

  5. HarryS

    Smile on your brother
    Everybody get together
    Try to love one another
    Right now

    Such a simple act with profound implications.
    Harry, grateful 12th stepper.

    • Yes, Harry! I especially like the “Right now” part. Simple, but not easy. And definitely profound.

  6. Good morning, Julia! That is so beautiful: the song, the sentiment and the photo. Thank you for sharing it and for living it.
    For me, the recognition of the “other” as our “brother” is what makes it easiest to “try.”
    I connected with some relatives at a funeral this past week. It had been 20 years since I’d seen most of them, and many I never knew very well. But once they knew that I’m “Joyce’s daughter,” I was fully accepted as family! I hugged one vaguely familiar man, saying only, “well, You look like family!”
    It would be so great if we could all do that, with everyone, just like Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberley Ryan demonstrates so well!
    Thank you again for the inspiration!

    • Susan, it’s so nice to hear from you! I had sent you an email awhile back, asking which address to write to if I wanted to send you a letter (a question people often ask me too 😀 ) and was wondering where you might be. Sorry to hear of your loss, but happy that you were able to make some warm connections at the funeral. Our burial customs allow people to bless us even in death, as they bring us together one more time. Hope you are doing great! Let me know where and/or when to write.

  7. blseibel

    That has always been a favorite of mine too. Such beautiful sentiments. Try to love is a good practice even though Yoda would disagree “do or do not, there is no try”…if only it was that easy!

    • I totally LOVE that Yoda quote. I have mentioned it here before, I think. My Daddy would have agreed that Yoda was right when it comes to love. He always told us that love is not what we feel, it is what we do. Actually my father reminded us of Yoda on more than one occasion. An original he was.

  8. Sheila

    Julia, I listened to the song and somehow I didn’t come back ( lost in thought, I suppose) to comment. I hope that Carla had a wonderful birthday. Do you see her occasionally? I was so happy to read that you had such a nice 3 mile walk yesterday. I walked on the beach with Jack yesterday, late afternoon, and thought of you. 💛 He walks at such a fast pace that it’s hard to look for shells ( which are plentiful in winter, after a nor’easter). I feel very close tonight, as we’re both ready to watch Downton Abbey. Right? Have a good week, my dear friend! “Hi” to Jeff and Matt. 🙏

    • Thanks Sheila! Actually, Carla and I don’t get together nearly enough, but having said that, we’ve been together more in the past 10 years than the previous 25 put together. In recent years she’s been here for us through many of Jeff’s surgeries and Matt’s surgeries, as well several times in the months immediately following Daddy’s death, and some holidays and other fun times. She still works full time, and since she’s an administrator, doesn’t get the whole summer off like most teachers. But we work it out whenever we can.

      I love picturing you and Jack on the beach. If only we could manage to make seashells smell like doggie treats, you might be able to take your time looking! Yes, we watched Downton Abbey last night. If Edith doesn’t get to marry her nobleman I will be seriously ticked off at the writers. I’m glad she finally told Mary off. I loved the happy ending to “Madam” Patmore’s dilemma! 😀 😀 😀 Hope you have a wonderful week too!

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