The Brandenburg Jig 2011
Before flying to England to meet our TV crew, I had a great couple of days in Berlin. This simple little video expresses the joy I feel in Berlin when I'm there. (It just occurred to me that joy is probably a major reason why I like Berlin so much.) There is so much potential for horror and violence in our world. Yet the vast majority of the time, in the vast majority of places, and for the vast majority of people, we live with peace, opportunity, and affluence (relative to any time in history)... even though we are taught not to be content. These young musicians are playing uplifting music in the shadow of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, on ground that was once a nightmarish no-man's-land. They are playing under warlike chariots on a gate that once called a mighty nation (Germany) to battle, then symbolized an ideological divide that denied hundreds of millions their freedom, and now calls for peace. Today, when we sit at home and let the media shape our worldview, busts of sadness can cloud our understanding of just how happy our world is. Politicians, talking heads, and angry neighbors can say America is broken and the rest of the world is even worse. They can say we are in crisis. They can be threatened by forces that don't even exist. It's as if that's their livelihood or purpose in life. The boring truth is: Things are really good, if we let them be. Of course, there are serious problems that must be dealt with. But most of us — especially Americans — are richly blessed. While we have our distribution challenges, there's more than enough goodness, energy, love — and stuff — to keep everyone happy. And here on what was the Berlin Wall, with young people making beautiful music, for the same reason a baby yelps with joy, I just want to take a moment to say let's embrace the world constructively and positively, remembering how much is not wrong.