Do you remember that Coca-Cola television commercial featuring the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”? The ad featured multicultural singers, standing on a hilltop, singing in “peaceful harmony,” and of course each one was holding a soda bottle. Here’s the link to the video in case you want to refresh your memory:
I’m thinking about that song because several years ago, another teacher and I chose it for our classes to sing at our school’s annual holiday show. We were looking for a general, feel-good song that didn’t specify one winter holiday over the other. We chose “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, a song most of our students had never heard of before.
It’s a song I confess to having on one of my mixed-CDs I listen to in the car. It’s a feel-good, do-good type of song, and driving around the streets of Los Angeles, music like that can only help during trying commutes.
I’m thinking about this song now especially because it is the holiday season. And there are so many disparities that I just can’t make any sense of. Some people are excessively buying, spending money on gifts and extravagances. Some people are burning down buildings and marching onto freeways. Some people are sleeping on streets and digging through dumpsters searching for food.
It’s all these vastly different human experiences I’m having a hard time making sense of. And, I’ve been thinking. Maybe we’re aiming too high. Maybe we shouldn’t be after “perfect harmony.” After all, I tell my son there is no such thing as perfection. We’re all supposed to be just going through each day, trying our best. Maybe instead of “perfect harmony,” we should be aiming for “melodious discord.” Disagreements and differences are okay, as long as they’re kept peaceful.
As much as I may want to, I know I can’t change the world. But I can build a home and “furnish it with love.”
By the way, here’s a link to the lyrics of the song and a Youtube video of a performance of the song: