Written February 27, 2017
“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” Bob Dylan…. There are no Freedoms, or Rights without Responsibilities….Seeing is more than meets the eye.” ~ Doug
Something to ponder…
What is a hero? Sometimes when we think of heroes we think of the ones we knew as kids – Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman and so on. We also think of soldiers in any branch of service as heroes. We may even think of police, firefighters, paramedics, or any first responder as heroes. All of those people are courageous in the face of danger and they battle evil daily. Many of them also practice spiritual principles like Honesty, Strength, Perseverance, Tolerance, and many others.
Some artists, musicians and writers can be considered heroes too. The infamous singer, songwriter and poet, Bob Dylan, was born in 1941, right in the middle of World War II. By the time he was 34, he’d seen 2 ½ wars – the end of WWII and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Five of his songs changed history as we know it: 1) Blowin’ in the Wind, 2) A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, 3) The Times They Are A-Changin’, 4) Like a Rolling Stone, and 5) You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
Dylan’s songs were not only protests against war but also changed how much of the music we hear today sounds(excerpts from an online article(Music.Mic) see below). He knew what a hero was. To some he could even be considered somewhat of a folk hero. A man or woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. With what’s going on today we need more heroes.
For a brief history lesson, that may or may not in many history books today, let’s look at why the English colonists came to what we know today as America. They came for one primary reason – Freedom. Freedom to Speak and Pray when, where and however they wanted. But even back then we needed to be Responsible not only for our actions when we did something wrong or hurt others but we were also Responsible to show Respect to others, especially our Elders. To continue those Freedoms and our way of life we’ve had to fight to keep our Rights and Freedoms. Thru the years we’ve fought the British, French, Japanese, terrorists from Middle East countries and today we fight ourselves.
I think we can all agree that America is not the land of utopia, an imaginary place in which the government, laws, and social conditions are perfect. History has proven that fact with the multitude of protests thru the years. Except lately protesting seems to come with violence on some level. I know have written many times before that there are many, MANY people who are begging and pleading for this violence to stop. Protest if you must but please have them be peaceful protests.
There are protesters who burn, hold other flags higher than our flag or in other ways disrespect the American flag. That beautiful flag is our symbol of the Freedoms that we all enjoy every day including your right to protest any way you choose. Tho it is not illegal to do those things to the American flag, you are being downright and utterly disrespectful to do it. I understand your anger and frustration that leads to doing it but you are spitting on the very country that gives you the Freedom to do that.
Consider this if you will, when you disrespect the American Flag you are spitting on a relative’s life or their grave. Somewhere in your family there is someone who is currently, or has in the past, fought for your Right to be able to protest however you choose. There are other, better and more peaceful ways to get your point across. I would ask that you think about the tear that runs down the face of any military service person and their family past, present and future – no matter what color, sex, religion, or creed. To those who see it, you can be a hero to the men and women who have, are, and will continue to serve in the military. You can peacefully defend and protect the flag.
There there is one more group of people who are around us everyday that are heroes too. People who battle the demons of mental health illnesses like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety issues, plus many others. They fight daily to get out of bed, get dressed and struggle to leave the house, but they manage to do it. There others who are in the throes of domestic violence, rape, a messy divorce or, perhaps a husband or wife just lost their mate and now they’re a single parent family. One could even consider a recovering addict or alcoholic a hero. To be able to fight off the demons of addiction or any of these other issues every day, even thru life on life’s terms, takes a lot of Strength, Perseverance and Courage. These people are heroes in my eyes too.
Basically what I’m saying is that anyone can be a hero. They can be every day, ordinary people we look up to. We must take care, tho, to not put our heroes on pedestals because they are still human and can falter or even disappoint us. I had a couple of heroes in my life for a while. It broke my heart when they did and said things that disappointed me. Some days my heart hurts when I think of them. Thankfully I’ve learned how to be my own hero. I learned to be strong and courageous during difficult times in my life. I continuously work on perseverance, honesty, patience, tolerance, and just being an overall better person than I was yesterday.
Thought for the day: If you or someone you know is trying to be a Peace Advocate, nurture and support that person. We don’t have to be like Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, or any of the Native American shamans and chiefs. We can be inspired by them tho and carry on their messages of hope, love and peace.
Excerpts from an article on Bob Dylan’s top 5 songs that changed history on Music.Mic
That (self titled) album was mostly made up of covers of folk standards, with only two original compositions. It was those standards, however, that taught Dylan everything he needed to know to become one of the most influential songwriters of all time.
“…these folk songs, (and they) gave me the code for everything that’s fair game, that everything belongs to everyone,” Dylan said at a recent event honoring him as 2015’s Person of the Year. He ran down a list of old folk standards he used to sing and quoted his own lyrics that sounded similar. “All these songs are connected,” he said. “Don’t be fooled. I just opened up a different door in a different kind of way.”
That “different kind of way,” though, made all the difference. Bob Dylan twisted timeless songs and hooked them to the most pressing modern issues. His songs inspired new political and artistic movements. And had he never gotten his shot all the way back in 1962, the world might be a very different place today…
“Every time an artist borrows the basic structure of country music but shuns the rigidity of Nashville assembly line music and lyrics in favor of looser rhythms and messier emotional content, it can be traced back to The Basement Tapes…Any time a musician anywhere writes or plays a song with more concern for the truth within it than for what an audience might expect,” it all goes back to The Basement Tapes, Jim Beviglia wrote for American Songwriter
Recorded in a house in Woodstock, NY called Big Pink, Dylan and his backing band experimented with a wild range of sounds and styles to cut a series of demos later known as The Basement Tapes. “We were playing with absolute freedom,” guitarist Robbie Robertson told Rolling Stone. “We weren’t doing anything we thought anyone else would ever hear, as long as we lived … It was like the Watergate tapes. A lot of the stuff, Bob would say, ‘We should destroy this.'” Thankfully, they didn’t and the tapes circulated as bootlegs. Some of the cuts saw official release much later on a 1975 album.
“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” is perhaps most emblematic of the album, though the whole record is influential. Its ragged, weird glory inspired countless modern folk-rock bands….