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When I look around at the world today and all its problems, the words of the Indian mystic Sai Baba comes to mind. He once said, “if you take your ego out of the situation, you suddenly see things objectively and solutions to problems become apparent.”
Another root to problems is ignorance. The cause of racism is ignorance. Because we don’t understand something it gives birth to fear. And fear’s brothers-in-law are anger and hate.

I was lucky enough to be a child of the 60s and arguably experienced the greatest decade ever of music. All us children of the 60s believed that a three minute record could change the world. We certainly saw the power of music contribute to the stopping of an unpopular war.

Never underestimate the power of words to change things. Be it a song, or a movie or a play. Creatives have a big responsibility as to whether to explore the light or the darkness of life. You have the power to influence many, be aware of that and make sure your message is clear and thought out. Hope is a powerful beacon for many who have been shut out of the world. Paul McCartney has said that the thing he’s most proud with the Beatles is that all the songs were about love. Maybe that’s why they endure.

Sam Goldwyn, one of the czars of MGM, once reprimanded his writers by saying, “Save your messages for Western Union.” So the writers learnt to dress their messages up in entertainment, disguising them in love stories, comedies and even musicals. But they are there for anyone with any sensitivity to see.

They dreamed up a better world where there were heroes and where the wronged eventually won in the final reel. It was wish fulfilment and people lined up to escape the real world and get a glimpse of how things could be in a just place.
So creative talented people – you do have the ability to bring about change. What you create today will influence the future. Change comes about slowly, but it does come. Like the ripple from every stone that’s thrown into a lake, each small wave goes on and on.

Writers, directors, producers and actors – It all starts with you. The dreamers, I believe, will always defeat the naysayers. But it does take perseverance, sweat and patience. If you want to do something bad enough you’ll always find a way. We sometimes like to put obstacles in our path to give ourselves an excuse for not doing something, or looking the other way, or taking the easy option, but someone once said the only limitations we have are the limitations we place upon our own imagination. The dreamers are looked down upon as the fools in our society but without them we’d still be sitting in a cave wondering how to light a fire.

Go light a fire. We need to shine a light on things to find our way through the darkness.

(c) Frank Howson 2014.


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