A few classes ago, Dr. Dalton said something that I can’t stop thinking about: “We live in a world which we have constructed…How can we construct a better world?”
If you’ve read any of my other blogs or ever had a conversation with me, you’ll know that my mind thinks in lyrics. As soon as Dr. Dalton asked that in class, my mind immediately went to a song (shocker, I know): “The World You Want,” by Switchfoot. The chorus of this song says: Is this the world you want?/Is this the world you want?/You’re making it/Everyday you’re alive
In the documentary that accompanies the album Fading West, this song is introduced during the band’s time in South Africa. Lead singer, Jon Foreman said:
During our stay in South Africa, I was struck by the sharp contrasts that comprise our experience on the planet. Areas of poverty and wealth, faces of hope and despair, stories of racial tension and reconciliation- this is the story of humanity. Beautiful at times, horrifying at times, our hands are capable of such good and evil. I wanted a song that captured the darkness and the light of a life filled with so many conflicting emotions. To have a song that starts and ends with the joy and laughter of children felt fitting. For me, it helps to bring light into the dark room of human behavior.
Dr. Dalton also said that “your life is a text, and you are the author,” which I think this song directly addresses. In order to make the world as a whole a better place, we have to start with our own lives. So, is this the world you want?
(I also highly recommend the documentary Fading West if you have any interest in music, songwriting, or surfing. It’s a favorite of mine, for sure.)