John Lennon said, “We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
The Beatles sang, “All you need is love.”
According to guitarist Joe Gruschecky, “Our U.S. motto is ‘E Pluribus Unum’ or One From Many. In these troubled times, truer words were never spoken. We need unity, compassion, and respect for all of our countrymen and women. Love conquers hate.”
To drive his point home, Joe and his band The Houserockers recently re-released “That’s What Makes Us Great,” featuring Bruce Springsteen. The song first appeared on Grushecky’s album, More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows, released in 2018.
Because he didn’t like what he saw transpiring in America’s cities – divisiveness, anger, hate, violence, social discord – Grushecky contacted Steve Popovich, Jr., president of Cleveland International Records, about reissuing the anthem along with a new lyric video.
Grushecky told Popovich, “We need unity now more than ever and I want to continue to do my part. ‘That’s What Makes Us Great’ is more relevant now than ever.”
Popovich agreed. So did Rolling Stone Magazine, which premiered the “fist-in-the-air-anthem,” remarking, “Arriving the day after the first presidential debate plumbed the depths of absurdity, the lyric lands like a cold, hard slap.”
The video for “That’s What Makes Us Great” depicts images of America’s cities and familiar sights, ranging from the Golden Gate Bridge to farms in the Midwest to towering office buildings, places where typical people work and live.
Essentially, the visuals present the idea recalling the potency of The Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated. Or as Scripture puts it: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
Islam declares the same concept: “A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: ‘O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it.’ Prophet said: ‘As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now let the stirrup go!’” (Kitab al-Kafi)
Wicca concurs: “I command thee thus, O children of the Earth, that that which ye deem harmful unto thyself, the very same shall ye be forbidden from doing unto another, for violence and hatred give rise to the same.” (The Book of Ways)
Almost every religion and culture in the world embraces the apothegm. Yet right now in America, the principle appears to be fugitive amid hostility, personal agendas, and manifest animosity toward others.
As Bruce Springsteen and Joe Grushecky harmonize in the music video, “I won’t follow down that path / And tempt the hands of fate / Let’s turn this thing around / Before it gets to late / It’s up to me and you / Love can conquer hate.”
If you truly want to ‘make America great again,” practice the lesson taught in Joe Grushecky’s stirring song, “That’s What Makes Us Great” – respect others and simply be compassionate.