I was looking at the news catching up on what’s happening in the world. The ongoing and spiritually exhausting presidential drama. Attacks in Syria, happening immediately after we stepped aside. Much, much more.
And then I found this. It’s a performance from Motown artist and Michigan native Stevie Wonder in what seems to be about 1972 (judging by the Spiro Agnew, Vice President to Richard Nixon and Kent State references, as well as a reference to the release).
The video is of “Heaven Help Us All,” a timeless gospel anthem that was written by Ron Miller and released in 1970.
Wonder makes a speech before the song.
“I’ve never been very good at giving speeches, because basically what I feel I say to the people I come in contact with, directly or indirectly.
Before coming in today, I had a lot of things on my mind. A lot of things that you don’t have to see to understand.
Well seeing that we are in a very troublesome time today in the world, time in which, a man can get life in prison for stealing 50 cents, and another man kill four human beings and is freed.
A time in which a man can get 12 years in prison for the possession of marijuana, and another who can kill four students at Kent State and come out free… what kind of s*** is that?
Sometimes I get very disgusted and very discouraged. Whenever I do, I look up in the sky and I say the words to a tune I did about a year and a half back.”
That tune, of course, is “Heaven Help Us All.”
And it moved me to share, because it’s timeless, or right on time for today. It’s a bit of church.
Much like when this song came out, we are a country that stands divided, with many forgetting our better angels.
A country where some forget what truly makes it great in the name of power, sowing division to get it.
However, it also gives me hope. We made it out of that mess and looked back and most of us realized the mistakes we made.
Maybe with a little help, we can get out of this mess, too.