Published on May 18th, 2012 | by TLV News0
John Mayer vs. Michael Jackson (Notes From the Visiting Yankee by JoLynn Wells, from TLV #156)
A few days ago I caught the tail end of John Mayer’s song “Waiting On the World To Change” on the radio. This tune has long irked me, despite its catchiness. The more he crooned his message of apathy, the more incensed I grew, wishing I could fly through the airwaves to where he sits with his plaintive guitar and scream at him, “Haven’t you heard of Gandhi? ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ Don’t just sit around waiting for it to change!”
It angers me to hear him condoning complacency among the sheep, encouraging us to be lazy and accept the unfairness of our current state of affairs. “No!” I want to yell. “That is the antithesis of what you should be preaching to the American youth.”
If the folks in Selma, Alabama, had followed his advice and sat waiting, at the back of the bus, they might still be sitting there today, hoping for their chance to sit in the front.
School children would never have learned about the Underground Railroad if Harriet Tubman had sat around with her thumb up her bum instead of making numerous trips ushering slaves to safety.
And would there even be a United States if Thomas Jefferson, instead of penning the Declaration of Independence, waited for the British to recognize the colonies and grant them a vote in Parliament?
By the song’s end I was steaming and changed the station in a huff. But then I heard, in its entirety, Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”
My off-key soprano belted along with Michael Jackson and his message, which couldn’t be any clearer. Do you hear it, John Mayer? Nothing ever changes if you sit around waiting. The world is not a perfect place and never has been, but it you want to make it better, make a difference, make it right, you have to look at yourself first. Start there. It’s not that hard. Get up off the couch, take a few steps to the bathroom and gaze into that reflecting glass above the sink. I’m asking you to change your ways. It’ll feel real good, I promise. Make that change.
(You said it, Chris…)