In April of 1965, Jackie DeShannon released her #1 hit, "What the World Needs Now Is Love" Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, the song came on the heels of Bloody Sunday when on March 7th some 200 Alabama State Troopers clashed with 525 civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama. Two days later white supremacists beat up white Unitarian Universalist minister James J. Reeb, who died later that day in Selma.
In response to the events on March 7th and 9th, President Lyndon Johnson sent a bill to Congress that forms the basis for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was signed into law in August 1965. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of federal civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.
The images of the mob storming The Capital nearly 60 years later feel historically similar. The rage of the mob and the fear of those serving either as law enforcement or our representatives induced fear, anger, and sadness in my soul.
Although I believe the violent invaders, and those who incited the violence, should be held accountable, I don't want anger to embody who I am. Its destructive power is worse for me in the long run than those to whom I direct my anger. The stress affects my central nervous system causing me to lose sleep as well as lowers my immune system - one thing I don't want during a pandemic.
Anger stems from fear. It's easier to be angry than to be afraid. Anger makes us seemingly feel in control when circumstances seem outside of our control. It gives us a false sense of power when we feel powerless. But in the end, anger takes power away from us.
As I process what has happened, I realize that those angry people who transcended on The Capital are also afraid. They have been made to feel afraid by various broadcast and social media outlets and certain politicians fomenting fear-based lies and messaging.
But I believe in the human spirit. We come from either a place of fear or love. They are the underlying basis for all of our emotions. And just as we can be destructive to ourselves and others when we act on fear, we can be just as productive when we act out of love.
When we feel love in our hearts, we have empathy for others. We are compassionate, caring, grateful, and giving. When we come from love, we are happier, peaceful, and prosperous. Prosperity is not about wealth. It is about thriving. When we thrive as individuals, the ripple effect transcends to others in our immediate world, our community, and beyond.
You might ask, "In this polarized and populist culture we're in, how do we feel love when there is so much fear and anger permeating our society?" The answer begins within each of us.
In my heart-opening conversation with Tyson Sharpe, a self-described Emotional Fitness Coach from Australia, he describes how to release fear, doubt, and worry and discover your ability to love yourself unconditionally. He describes the difference between building a business out of fear compared to building a business based on love and service. Tyson shares his 3 Disciplines for Success and gives you a simple way to begin your self-love discovery with something you have available 24/7.
Before you go, read the lyrics below of the song, "What the World Needs Now." It's probably been a while, or perhaps you don't know the song. The song is one of those gems that remind us that love, not hate, is the best way to heal us all from the inside-out.
What the World Needs Now is Love
What the world needs now is love, sweet love It's the only thing that there's just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love No not just for some, but for everyone
Lord, we don't need another mountain There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb There are oceans and rivers enough to cross Enough to last 'til the end of time
What the world needs now is love, sweet love It's the only thing that there's just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love No, not just for some, but for everyone
Lord, we don't need another meadow There are cornfields and wheatfields enough to grow There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine Oh listen, Lord, if you want to know
What the world needs now is love, sweet love It's the only thing that there's just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love No, not just for some, oh, but just for every, every, everyone
~Written and composed by
Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Author, Phyllis Smith, is the Co-founder and CEO of Live Free Yoga, which provides yoga and mindfulness programs for youth and adults who serve them. She is also the co-creator of Lighter Being, a transformative mindfulness video series to help you find more balance, self-love, and a lighter state of being.