Columnist Carole Gariepy asks us to spread kindness and give it to the next


I recently heard a very amazing new version of “What the World Needs Now”, a song I haven’t heard since the mid-1960s.

It’s hard to imagine how Shelbie Rassler, a music student at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, was recently able to put together this virtual composition with 70 musicians located in different parts of the world. The song was written during the difficult days of the civil rights movement and the words are as needed today as they were then: “What the world needs now is love, love. soft. It is the only thing of which there is too little.

Terrible things happened in the 1960s, including the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. But civil rights have triumphed. It still takes time to change everyone’s mindset, just as it took time to change people’s thinking about women’s suffrage, the movement of the early 1900s. But the equality of persons has been recognized in both situations and laws have been changed. These legitimate acts showed love for all of humanity.

We now face another big challenge with a terrible virus that is gaining momentum as it sweeps through our country, and people are divided in their decision to get vaccinated. And just as there have been strong rallies about these past circumstances, there are strong emotions about COVID. Hopefully love wins again and we can end this pandemic.

In the meantime, with everyone tired of wearing masks, depressed by distancing, and scared of the new wave, there is one way to improve everyone’s lives: love. Love is stronger than hate, we must make it prevail.

State Senator Anne Gobi expressed her love when she sent a certificate of praise to our son with special needs, Grant, for the necklaces he makes for people, his gift of love. How important does someone like him feel to have such a special prize framed and hung on his wall.

Our pastor, Stephanie, expresses her love when she sends uplifting messages and updates on church family members to keep people connected. She goes the extra mile and prints the emails and distributes them to people who don’t have computers.

Caring is an expression of love. This must be a particularly difficult time for people like Stephanie and Anne whose lifelong job is to serve people.

My neighbor, Jan, expresses her love every day by knitting the most beautiful Christmas stockings and giving them to all the children she knows as well as to charities. She and the receiver are both filled with love.

Jan Wagner holds knitted Christmas stockings that she made.

Our neighbor, Russ, shows love while mowing our lawn. When he heard about Gerry’s medical problem, his lawn mower regularly visited our garden. Again … caring, and the attention is heartwarming.

I wrote over a year ago, shortly after the onset of COVID, that I had started visiting our neighbor, Rick’s, chickens, and one of them that I named Jackie became a pet. Maybe you know that after a few years a hen reduces her egg production, and at that point Rick’s hens turn into a chicken stew. Well, Jackie and her generation are approaching that time of life, but luckily Rick says Jackie will be spared another neighbor showing love. A new generation of chickens will provide the eggs and Jackie will be the queen of the henhouse.

More from Carole Gariépy:Birds of a feather

More from Carole Gariépy:Guest Column: What We Give Is What Lasts

My friend, Pam, who is practically housebound, sends notes and cards to a long list of people, even people she may know about in the diary. It is a daily activity for her to send comforting words to others. It is his reach of love.

We all feel good when we know we’ve done something right, and kindness brings kindness. Everyone has heard the expression “We get what we give”. We have to give the best of ourselves, the best shows love.

Gerry and I will be getting our booster shots soon. We feel good there. It is not a selfish thing to do. Not only will this help us stay healthy, but we’re also doing what’s right to help everyone we meet stay healthy. It is an act of love.

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

It is the only thing of which there is too little.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love,

Not just for some, but for everyone.

Let love unite us and guide us to do what is right for ourselves and for others. Care. We live in the United States, not in the Divided States.

Treat yourself to this musical achievement about love, it is easy to conjure up on the computer and it will touch your heart.

Carole Gariepy is a resident of Phillipston and author of “In Isolation”.


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