As I was driving thru town today, on my way to visit a friend, I caught a radio interview of the band R.E.M. In the midst of this interview, the radio host asked, “as a band, when did you realize that your music made it BIG?”. A couple of the band members chuckled and recalled traveling in the Middle East sitting down for dinner at a restaurant and they heard their song “Losing My Religion” begin to play over the speakers and suddenly the empty dance floor filled with young people dancing and singing along.
Music has a way of conjuring up swift memories of who, what, and where we were in life, and I was in my second year of University when this song came out. As I sang along today in my car, I began to recognize how relevant the lyrics of this song, feels soooooo relevant RIGHT NOW. For so many of us, our upbringing within any religion is often presented as a finite thing. Something stable to cling to, when all else is chaos, return to your “roots”, your religion. However, the introduction of the computer age and technology brought with it, many questions and new challenges to ponder and consider. As our giant world has swiftly grown smaller through the internet, we have become accustomed to information overload and identifying more and more as global consumers and therefore, global citizens more than ever before. . . and yet, we have done so, for the most part, from the comfort of our own homes.
When I first heard the song and read along the lyrics of “Losing My Religion”, I was always left with an unsettled feeling and often spent time thinking “what the heck are they saying?” I wanted answers, concrete thoughts/beliefs to say were good/bad. How can I have peace in the midst of uncertainty? In some ways, I always had a strong dislike for that song. What occurred to me today, was that there were teens in the Middle East also connecting to the music and words of that song, all those years ago. Crazy isn’t it? There were teens on the other side of the world, of different Religions/Faiths who were also experiencing similar thoughts and feelings as I, shared in this very song.
It all left me wondering… Is a shared sense of Un-Rest enough grounds for commonality from which to build peaceful resolution?