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When I Taught The World To Sing

It began with a Coke commercial, a jingle during Viet Nam, the women's movement, and ongoing Civil Rights issues that had all types of people standing together on a hill in Italy singing, "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing…I'd like to give the world a Coke." The jingle turned song by England's New Seekers soared, made everyone feel like holding hands, and made us stop, albeit briefly, and sing and dance, but it didn't last; it never does. It wasn't about coming together, singing, and making the world a better place. The message was about buying a product. It was about sales, money, and power.

When I heard the song on my Pandora station, I felt the positive. There had been times I felt I could teach the world to sing: when I found salvation, when I finished college and Graduate school, when I got married, got my first teaching job, had kids, and when my first book got published. I sang each, long and loud, and it seemed like the entire world sang with me, in harmony, on the same sheet of music until that spot on my liver came back positive; it may be the only time something negative was positive. Then, the chemo didn't work, and the spot spread. Suddenly, a new song emerged, from deep within, but it was too late to teach others. They would have to find their own song.

Story by:

Niles Reddick

11 February 2018