I love Bob Dylan. It is not unusual to hear one of his songs on the radio either by Bob Dylan himself or one of the many artists who have done their own version of his songs. He has written “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and “The Times They Are a Changin” as well as hundreds of others. Here is a link to the song on YouTube if you are interested in listening.
The interesting thing to me about his music is the very timeless nature of the lyrics. In this particular song he sings about how the times are changing. Written sometime in late 1963 and released on an album by the same name in 1964 the lyrics are as pertinent today as they were then. For example, the third stanza of the songs says this:
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
I sure wish our members of the senate and congress would get to work and stop standing in doorways and blocking halls! Our country is stalled and we need our elected officials to listen to the people who put them into office and instead of pointing fingers at one another, begin to work on desperately needed solutions. We have people who are homeless for a variety of reasons and for many the barrier is the lack of affordable housing. We have people who are hungry and for many is has nothing to do with not being able to purchase food but the lack of grocery stores within walking distance as they have no transportation. We have roads that need work, bridges that need work…in fact our infrastructure across all states is in need of work and upgrades. We need affordable health care. And please…can we make solicitation phone calls illegal!!!! We have so many issues that need help and need our country to pull together to find solutions and instead we are mired in political garbage…from every side.
Now please know this is not me advocating for a specific political platform. I honestly do not care what your party affiliations are. This is me advocating for help for the people who are struggling to find a place to live, food to eat, and jobs to work and finding solutions that can change those desperate situations.
Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They are a Changin’ during a time of political and social unrest and it seems as if we have not learned our lessons from history. I am not sure the changes we are seeing today are for the better. It seems we prefer to look out for ourselves and not for our country as a whole or for the more marginalized members of our society. And to those who believe in the pull yourself up by your own boot straps ethic: remember in life there are occasions when we all need a little help sometime.
Part of the problem is we don’t listen to one another anymore. As soon as someone has a viewpoint that is different from ours we stop listening and start trying to convert them to our way of thinking. The result of that tactic only makes them shut down and stop listening to us. It is a very sad merry go round we have chosen to ride.
One thing I have found that helps is to ask questions. Unfortunately, we don’t bother to ask questions. Questions like: Why do you think_____? Why do you want this benefit, change, policy? Why?
Maybe we don’t ask questions because we are afraid if we do… we might have to change our stance on a position. We might find out we were wrong or someone else’s idea is better…but is that really a bad thing? One thing I know is true: the only thing that is unchangeable in life is the fact that everything changes. Maybe we shouldn’t be so afraid of change and instead choose change as the opportunity to learn something new about something different. Maybe we might find out we like the change.