It’s a new Baha’i year–year 171. As has become a tradition on this blog, I have selected a music video which moves me deeply and gets me thinking as the new year begins.
This song can be seen either as depressing or hopeful depending on how one looks at it. The lyrics “Look at me, I just can’t believe what they’ve done to me, we could never get free,” talk about oppression and what government and institutional oppression can do to us as individuals and a society.
The video features a lot of street scenes in Jamaica, which is fascinating because a rather unique and influential culture there has emerged out of decades of grinding poverty and oppression.
Towards the end of the song, the lyrics become hopeful, saying, “We’re all together in the same boat, I know you, you know me…”
To me, the song and the video are relevant because increasingly, large parts of the Western world, including large parts of the United States, are, in essence, become third world countries. I am firmly of the belief that the economic crashes of 2008 were only the beginning of difficult times which will see the collapse of major institutions on which we’ve all become dependent on. I believe that the day will come in which the only valid currency we will possess, in essence, is ourselves and each other.
Furthermore, “Get Free!” is a response to revelations in the last year of how not free we are as citizens. The level of government surveillance through the Internet and smartphones, and the very real threat of the Internet becoming a subsidiary of the likes of Verizon and Comcast reveals just how close we are to a totalitarian regime. We need to realize that we hold the keys to freedom in our own hands and ensure that we never give those keys away.
So those are my personal thoughts as the new Baha’i year begins. May we begin anew in the myriad ways we try to uplift ourselves and others.