Humans want nice neat answers for the world around them. Superstition and religious beliefs have claimed those answers throughout time. There’s always something or a someone, or a group of someones to blame for pestilence and natural disasters. Cause and effect, natural consequences, God’s judgment against some sinful behavior; these are a few ways to view our surroundings. How many young virgins — always girls — had to die to appease the gods? Thrown into volcanoes, or into pits with under ground rivers, or burned at the stake because someone claimed they were witches.
Here we are in the twenty-first century and there are still way too many who conform to this mindset. All around the globe, speakers for “God” place blame for mass shootings, wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, and hurricanes — on sin. The vengeful deity allows hundreds to perish in order to declare his displeasure with our behavior. Mind you, it’s always about abortion or homosexuality. Funny, gluttony, greed, lying, rape, adultery, or not loving one’s neighbor have rarely been called out as a reason. So I guess some sins are worse than others, even though I was taught, all sin is sin. It’s funny too, how people look for God in the storm when, by contrast, it is a still small voice.
I had no idea that since Irma, there’s been an outcry against the homosexual community on SXM. Zealots (rastas and atheists too) have taken the opportunity to blame, shame and guilt them for the force of the hurricane. God’s wrath has befallen the island because of them and their dirty deeds. So much for loving your neighbor as yourself. In turn, the guilt ridden (all locals) have vowed to stay away from their former partners. Some have even claimed they are now cured of their affliction. I can’t imagine what that process involves(d), all in the name of God.
So, what about One Love?
What if these beliefs, which are many, and varied, are lost in translation?
What if, in the name of God or another, some are adding weights to others they were never meant to carry?
(I’m sure that’s never happened before)
On this small island, we are a community.
When love surrounds, it is beautiful and life surges forward.
Maybe the lyrics to this classic, are worth singing out today?
“We’re one but we’re not the same
Well we hurt each other
Then we do it again
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt
You got to do what you should
With each other
But we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other
“There was melancholy about it but there was also strength. One is not about oneness, it’s about difference. It’s not the old hippie idea of ‘let’s all live together.’ It is a much more punk rock concept. It’s anti-romantic: ‘we are one but not the same. We get to carry each other.’ It’s a reminder that we have no choice. I’m still disappointed when people hear the chorus line as ‘got to’ rather than ‘we get to carry each other.’ Like it or not, the only way out of here is if I give you a leg up the wall and you pull me after you. There’s something very unromantic about that.
—Bono, on the recording of “One” U2
We are not the same.
We get to carry each other.