It’s what the world needs now

Back in 1962 when the “greatest class ever graduated” (self-proclaimed) was just out of secondary school, the music world was changing rapidly. Three years later, Burt Bacharach wrote a song that began:

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love.

That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…”

Did we ever need that “love sweet love” any more than right now in this diplomatically dysfunctional world? Old Burt evidently knows about economics because he’s talking about supply and demand. He says: “What the world needs…” See, it’s right there. We are demanding “love sweet love” and it’s in short supply because ‘there’s just too little of.”

We want it and we need to find out who has it and what the price is. Although the price isn’t in dollars we know that it will be high because there just isn’t much love sweet love. If we do find it, how do we pay for it? What’s the currency for “love, sweet love”?

Probably the easiest way to find out the price of this elusive commodity is to ask someone who might know like Grandma, who was graduated near the same time as “the greatest class ever’.

She will tell you about a surefire potion made up of commitment, diplomacy, steadfastness, morality, understanding, faith, and constancy. There are other ingredients which may help but those have to be added to suit personal tastes. This stuff isn’t cheap.

You don’t only have to have the ingredients, you absolutely have to have enough of each to make the magic work. Like most commodities, you can obtain more “love, sweet love” if you ante up more of the potion. You know, maybe more commitment or understanding or maybe something entirely different from another mix.

On the front of my desk there are several shelves and on one there is a saying from Dr. Seuss: “I meant what I said and I said what I meant…” Good advice!

For sure, these items work on a personal level but I’m postulating that they are about all relationships at all levels. If we take these characteristics to work or to the bargaining table, they still apply. Every once in a while, you just have to be firm.

Globally, the kidnapping of Nigerian girls to sell as slaves, telling persons of other faiths that they must convert or die, fire bombing synagogues, shooting down passenger airliners, and leadership pitting citizen against citizen just don’t add up to “love, sweet love.” There are times we, the public, should be outraged.

Values have to be protected. “Freedom isn’t free.” I believe that “love, sweet love” is the goal and that, like personal relationships, we can get there through commitment, diplomacy, steadfastness, morality, understanding, faith, and constancy. As a practical matter, I also have an office sign proclaiming “Beware of Occupant.”

Teddy Roosevelt mentioned “speaking softly and big stick” to help protect your values. He graduated before the “greatest class ever” but we could still vote him in as an honorary member.