What’s So Funny ‘bout Peace Love and Understanding?

As i walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time i feel like this inside,
There's one thing i wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

This song, written by Nick Lowe, performed by Elvis Costello, has always been a favorite of mine, but it seems particularly relevant lately. Things are getting ugly out there. The U.S. political election has the candidates trying to out-nasty each other. So much bullying going on. People are being picked on, even killed, for being the wrong color, or having the wrong sexual orientation, or practicing the wrong religion, or if they’re a woman, or happen to be poor, or [fill in the blank].

How did we get here? When did the bullies seem to gain the upper hand?

A racist political bumper sticker targeting the sitting President of the United States is just one more indication that ugliness has become entrenched. And maybe there’s no hope for those of a certain age who haven’t learned how to behave and accept others. Maybe our only hope is with our children, to teach them well, as Crosby, Stills & Nash put so eloquently.

Which brings me to the subject of the documentary Bully which has been getting quite a bit of press lately. It is a powerful examination of the everyday struggle of children who are subjected to dehumanizing bullying. One of the film’s subjects committed suicide, leaving griefstricken parents behind. He just couldn’t take the pain any longer. I’ve only seen clips, but when I do see the documentary in its entirety, I plan to have a box of Kleenex by my side.

The filmmakers’ purpose was to use this as an educational piece to be shown in schools so children will know there is an alternative to hate. (You would think they would learn this from their parents, but as we all know, that is not the case.)

It sounds like a good idea, except a bully had to step in – in the form of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). They’ve given Bully an R rating because it contains FIVE swear words. (Don’t get me started. Maiming, brutality and bloodshed is usually good for a PG-13, but a few curse words used in context. Oh, my.) This rating effectively keeps the movie from being shown in the schools – the intended demographic.

We can make a difference. Let’s stand up to the bullies and sign the petition over on Change.org.

Here at StoryRhyme, our line has always been “Spread the Joy.” Let’s do our part. Let’s do something revolutionary. Let’s be nicer to each other. We’ll have a Revolution of Nice.

Revolutionary, isn’t it?

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