I’ve been borrowing movies from the library, and I just watched the documentary The Internationale (Peter Miller, 2000). The movie told the story of the socialist anthem of the same name. It’s an interesting story, and I’d recommend it. I particularly liked the new lyrics by British musician Billy Bragg, which speak to the many struggles that people face in today’s world, and some ways that we can all use to cope.
“Let no one build walls to divide us,
Walls of hatred nor walls of stone.
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us,
We’ll live together or we’ll die alone.”
The movie also got me thinking about Pete Seeger, who was one force behind the decision to change the lyrics. I’ve been inspired by Pete Seeger for many years, and it was nice to see him again in this documentary. I grew up in the same part of New York where Mr. Seeger lives and does his work for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, an organization he and his wife founded to clean up the Hudson River.
I’ve seen him perform a number of times, and I feel lucky. Pete Seeger is one of those persons who radiates a Zen-like calm, and I admire all the work he’s done for the environment, and also towards the spread of folk music in this country. I hear there is a movement right now to get him nominated for a Nobel Peace prize, and I am not surprised.
As a person who eventually hopes to make her whole living from creative pursuits, I also admire anyone who follows a dream and makes it happen. Pete Seeger’s biography says that he fell in love with the banjo and it changed his whole life—it thrills me that it changed his life in a way that means he isn’t just some guy who plays banjo at the office Christmas party. Every person who takes a dream and makes it happen shows the rest of us that it can be done. It was nice to watch that movie and be reminded that so many different people have influenced my outlook. I’d thank them all if I could, but there’s not enough space on the internet to do it.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
151. Think of at least one person you admire (I have a long list). What have you learned from them? Tell someone else, and if you can, thank the person directly.
Links, should you desire them: