2011 Dec 9

written by Sherri Joubert

Imagine (by John Lennon)

The Staten Island PS 22 Chorus did a fabulous performance, and I am again reminded of the vital importance of the educational value of music and other non-core activities in school. The arts fill in the humanity of the core curriculum kids must learn. Without arts and humanities, they have no context or meaning for all the facts they are taught.

Imagine has always been one of my favorite songs, and I believe the ideas expressed are achievable. I hope it comes to pass sooner rather than later.

I believe the people taking to the streets around the world today to peacefully protest dictatorial governments to the large and growing economic inequality gap between the richest 1% of the population and everyone else has finally started the right conversation.

In the U.S., protesters turned the question of why are the poor so poor into why are the rich so rich? How did that happen? The vast majority of us work very hard at our jobs and we don’t get rich. Why not? Those are better questions.

After the last 30 years of trickle-down economics (the economics of greed), the only thing that trickled down is growing economic stress on the middle class, and the middle class shrinking into poverty with stagnant income as wealth trickles up.

It’s become a crime to be poor in this world. What did the poor ever do to anyone to attract such hatred and wrath? Perhaps remind the non-philanthropic mega-rich just how rich they are and how unfair and unjust that is? Do they see how unsustainable the current condition of our planet and its inhabitants has become?

Could greed be educated out of, or at least tempered significantly, in greed-prone people with strong, mandatory programs in the arts and humanities? (By mandatory, I mean students have to pick at least one thing they like, and they can change their minds if their first choice doesn’t work for them).

Could teaching 4th graders to explore their musical and artistic talents give them something far deeper and more meaningful than any amount of money? Could teaching literature and a love of reading make kids more aware and empathetic of the human condition? Could kids who are talented in writing, painting, drawing, singing, dancing, etc., use their gifts to better the world? Yes.

Perhaps the greedy are greedy because they have nothing to fill some void within them. No amount of money can produce the feeling of sheer ecstasy at playing a piece of music beautifully, or nailing a performance on stage. Nothing beats the deep sense of accomplishment of writing or painting a masterpiece, or performing a character in a play with perfection. All these examples are about deep love, and it is intangible. Money can’t buy the love the arts directly feed our souls.

We still need the laws back that prevent the greedy from chewing up the world and spitting it into oblivion, but putting the arts back in schools might help, too.

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7 Responses to “Imagine–sung by the Staten Island PS 22 Chorus”

  1. Corinne Edwards Says:

    Happy New Year, Sherri –

    I can hear you singing along with that delightful choir. We should all sing that song every day.

    Why does it always bring tears to my eyes?

    I guess because the words say it all.
    Corinne Edwards´s last blog post ..WRITE YOUR BOOK – PUBLISH YOUR BOOK – PROMOTE YOUR BOOK

  2. Sherri Joubert Says:

    Happy New Year, Corinne!

    I always sing along, and that song always brings tears to my eyes.

    One of my favorite versions (I like them all) is from the Glee cast.

    I’m just happy this young generation is growing up with that song fixed solidly in their iPod song lists. They all seem to know it well.

  3. Beat Schindler Says:

    Memorable song indeed. Lennon and the Beatles sure left a legacy. Just the other day the Beatle of the day – Justin Bieber – all of a few years old, beautifully performed “Let It Be” on Time Square, with Carlos Santana on guitar, probably watched by gazillions of stay-home New Year revelers. The legacy continues. Come to think of it, some 40-plus years ago the Beatles were the 1%.
    With best wishes for a Hppy New Year to You!
    – Beat
    Beat Schindler´s last blog post ..Success Thoughts Comfort Zone

  4. Raymond Chua @ Cure Stress Naturally Says:

    Hi Sherri,

    Happy New Year to you.

    Sometimes, song is the reason for one to keep on going when life gets tough.

    Corrine is right. We should sing a song everyday. Just make sure that it’s a good song that can lift us up instead of shoot us down.

    P.S. I can’t help but so sing along with the video. :)
    Raymond Chua @ Cure Stress Naturally´s last blog post ..Quote

  5. Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny Says:

    What a treat that video is. Imagine. Beautiful expression of voice and human connection. Hard to resist kids singing such a great song. Thanks for sharing it. Happy New Year, Sherri!
    Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny´s last blog post ..In Your Corner: It’s Complicated to be Coach and Husband (or Wife) For the Same Person

  6. Debbie @ Happy Maker Says:

    Hi Sherri,

    As everyone says, “Beautiful Song” and yes, we should listen to it every day. As for the rich, everyone has there day. I wish them luck, because money is nice, but love can not be bought with it or happiness.
    Blessing to you Sherri and wishing you a wonderful New Year.
    Debbie @ Happy Maker´s last blog post ..How to Take Charge of Your World in 2012!

  7. Joel Says:

    Happy New Year Sherri! It’s a wonderful song and a great version.
    Not every rich person is greedy. Not every poor person is stupid or lazy. None of us are that different really, here’s hoping 2012 can bring people closer together :)
    Joel´s last blog post ..Choosing Ideal Web Hosting

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