A Message From Our Editor, Issue #46 – Letting Music Awaken Our Dreams
Art and music has a way of revealing the core ideals of a time. Sometimes those messages last for decades. Growing up in the ’70s, we celebrated with passionate, meaningful music. The lyrics were about growth, expansion, finding ourselves, questioning authority, expressing our individual voice…all essential to the momentous paradigm shift the world was embarking on.
There were two classic songs reflective of the youth’s perspective in regard to parenting: “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens and “Teach Your Children Well” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. If you have never heard these songs, or if it has been some time since you have, I invite you to check out their words of wisdom. Both reflect the enthusiasm the youth were bursting with. Both held a message still valuable to us as parents today.
The voice of the father in Cat Stevens’s song captured the essence of a placating status quo: “Just relax, take it easy/You’re still young, that’s your fault/There’s so much you have to know.” From our youthful place of freedom-to-be, this advice was restrictive, and the words of the son— “If they were right, I’d agree/but it’s them they know, not me/Now there’s a way and I know/that I have to go away” —was an undefined resolution to follow an inner drive for expression.
I resolved that when I had kids, I would always strive to remember my experiences and dreams as a child so as to relate to who they were, where they were coming from, and their insights and perspective.
Like many parents of that decade, my father was not sympathetic to the radical changes arising in our society, and he was even less supportive of my enthusiasm for these shifts. I, however, embraced the momentum of the time, and was passionate that I could “Teach [my] parents well,” as sung by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. It was my desire to appeal to his inner knowing, a heartfelt place where I thought he would surely remember his own youthful passions. “Feed them on your dreams” was the way CSN&Y put it. Yes, I truly hoped to reawaken within him the aching enthusiasm of youth to discover and explore, and be respected as an individual, unique expression of life. And in so doing, maybe, just maybe, free him of the “fears he grew by.”
From my cumulative experiences of that decade and my attempts with adult authority to “help them seek the truth,” I resolved that when I had kids, I would always strive to remember my childhood experiences and dreams so as to relate to who they were, where they were coming from, and their insights and perspective. I never wanted them to feel that I turned away and “ordered [them] to listen,” as I felt had been done to me so many times. Rather, I wanted to develop a deep understanding and lasting relationship with them and my own evolving self. From my own experiences, I knew that as children we most certainly teach our parents well. With our children, and now our grandchildren, we have held this belief as paramount to parenting.
It’s funny how a song or poem can transcend time and viscerally reconnect us to an essential part of our being. I can vividly remember the afternoon I approached my father and asked him to hear the words of Cat Stevens’s song, “Father and Son.” Although my attempt was to get him to feel my exuberance, I didn’t realize how much of a personal challenge I was presenting him with. Or maybe I did…
Although I’m no longer a child yearning for her freedom to be heard, I remain as enthusiastic about each of us awakening to and expressing our individual dreams and inner passions. In so doing, may we give “to our children’s children’s children” the freedom to do the same.
For the raising of the consciousness,Jeanne Ohm, D.C.