Try to love
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
— 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.