When a tragedy occurs you always hear the phrase God moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes you also hear why does your God let terrible things happen? He does not. At least I believe he does not. Things happen because of two things.
First, Things happen because they randomly happen. As Rudge in Alan Benett’s play The History Boys said,” It’s just one fuckin’ thing after another.”
Or as Historian Arnold Toynbee said,”history is just one damn thing after another”
And Second, things happen because we let things happen.
I am diabetic because I let it happen when I allowed myself to overindulge. The Philippines were ruled by the Marcoses and Arroyos for several years because we let it happen. Our city streets become flooded with trash and water we use. We get lung disease because we smole or set next to person who smoke. We are victims of our own crimes. Sure we can have escape goat or bogeyman to blame it on but deep down inside we know we had a had a hand in it.
It was all us.
Us and random things.
Several years ago, we were watching Robin William’s film Good Morning Vietnam. The film was about DJ Adrian Kronauer, The US-Vietnam War and Friendships. It was funny. It was sad. It was life depicted. And it had several catchy tunes that could potentially stay inside your head for sometime. There was one song in particular that mixed with the scenes of peace and happiness was effectively poignant. The song was a Wonderful World and the singer was Satchmo or Louis Armstrong.And the song spoke of how beautiful the world was and could be.
The song was written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss abd tge song was released in 1968. The song had its admirers and detractors it did no do well in the US but did well in UK. People who did not like it, attacked it because it was they believed over simplistic view of the world.
During a concert Armstrong, before perfoming the song, introduced and answered the critics:
Some of you young folks been saying to me: ‘Hey, Pops – what do you mean, what a wonderful world? How about all them wars all over the place, you call them wonderful? But how about listening to old Pops for a minute? Seems to me it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doing to it, and all I’m saying is: see what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance. Love, baby – love. That’s the secret.
Satchmo’s What A Wonderful World has been a favorite song of mine since I heard and watched it severak years ago.
It really is up to us.
There is an old Tagalog proverb that goes “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa Tao ang gawa” or in English Mercy resides in God and deeds in Men.