We Are the World 25 for Haiti was published in February 2010 and over 2% of the world (160 million people) has viewed it. What is the primordial nerve that it touches—compassion, unity, love, fear? I think we can agree that it isn’t just gifted singers inspiring us with talent. Whatever this invisible bond, we cannot see it or touch it, but we all feel it. It’s like a secret program running in stealth mode in our subconscious mind, a common code in our DNA, that reminds us that what happened in Haiti could happen to us… and it does.
As Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson wrote over 30 years ago, “There comes a time when we heed a certain call, when the world must come together as one.” It does not matter if the call is to help survivors of terrorist attacks in Paris or New York, natural disasters in New Orleans or Indonesian, or impoverished children in need of food, clothes or just a hug. The call to action is independent of nationality, culture, race, ethnicity, ideology, gender, age, or theology.
Maybe we all know that one day this could be me and the Golden Rule kicks in—do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12). Maybe there is a part of us that knows when we give we receive. There are countless famous quotes on giving and receiving from Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill, or Kahlil Gibran, but I like the quote from Saint Francis of Assisi the most, “For it is in giving that we receive.”
I could ramble about the nuances of compassion for days, but I will spare you the details and leave you with just a few simple facts. First, we can’t go on pretending that we are separate. Unity is not some trivial, artificial, soft, or unnecessary concept; it is at the core of what makes us human. Separation is an illusion and those that promote division, anger, hatred, fear, and separation will come to loath the day when they need a helping hand.
In 1925 Napoleon Hill wrote a book called The Laws of Success (modified in 2011), and in 2012 the Templeton Foundation published the The Essential Worldwide Laws of Life, written by Sir John Templeton. Both of these works are based on a lifelong study of the characteristics and virtues that enable a person to survive and thrive, which is why I created an entire theme on the laws of life, to show them in action in these viral videos. As you might imagine, both include the Golden Rule and identify compassion as a critical element to living a long, healthy, and prosperous life.
As Richie and Jackson said, “Together, we are the world, we are the children, we are saving our own lives,” and compassion is a hill we must climb, a title we should claim, a prize worth fighting for.
Fight for compassion, isn’t that an oxymoron? I certainly don’t mean that we should come to blows , but I do believe in a passionate battle cry that is heard from sea to shining sea. I would support a crusade for compassion—a crusade for mercy, kindness, and empathy. I support crusaders who are tender, loving, and lenient. Could an army of compassionate companies and loving soldiers fight poverty and end starvation? Imagine, 25% of the world’s children live in poverty and, despite popular belief there is something we can do to help.
The children are our future and a better world starts with them. So join the families who have already adopted over 2 million children and provide homes to over 400,000 children living in foster care. We are the world. What does We mean to you?
Here are the lyrics to We Are The World:
There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone ,somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need[Chorus] We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
Its true we’ll make a better day Just you and me
Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand
RICHIE, LIONEL / JACKSON, MICHAEL
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc