Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where Is The Love?

Just last week, while looking for a few music videos by Stephanie Mills, I ran across a long-forgotten, late 1980's remake of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway's 1972 hit,  'Where Is The Love?,' featuring the diminutive Ms. Mills and the late Robert Brookins. Hearing that song brought back a lot of memories of the good ol' days when music was more about relationships than 'relations,' but if you really pay attention to the words in the song, it is really about two people who have a desire to be together, but are entangled in other situations.

Where is the love
You said you'd give to me
Soon as you were free
Will it ever be
Where is the love

You told me that you didn't love him
And you were gonna say goodbye
But if you really didn't mean it
Why did you have to lie

Where is the love
You said was mine all mine
Till the end of time
Was it just a lie
Where is the love

If you had had a sudden change of heart
I wish that you would tell me so
Don't leave me hangin on the promises
You've got to let me know

[Instrumental Interlude]

Oh, how I wish I never met you
I guess it must have been my fate
To fall in love with someone else's love
All I can do is wait
(That's all I can do)
Yeah, hey, yeah

Where is the love

Listening to the meaning behind the lyrics in this classic soul hit, I couldn't help but reflect on the state of affairs (pun intended) that have rocked the Black community and made the headlines within the past few months. From sports legends to politicians; from church leaders to soul singing sensations to everyday people that you meet on the street: There is a whole lot of relational shaking going on which really makes me wonder where the love (and true commitment) went?

Have people become so self-indulgent and short-sighted that they would rather get their groove on than choose to preserve their marriages, children, reputations, finances, legacies and, in some instances, their very own lives? Are those few moments of savoring forbidden fruit really worth the eventual price that must be paid for one's indiscretions? I don't think so. Just ask former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Tiger Woods, Jesse Jackson, Jr., or the recently suicidal Fantasia Barrino. Just ask any parent who has to tell his or her children that mommy and daddy are splitting up or that they have brothers and sisters that they have never met. Just ask the husband who has to tell his 'soul mate' that he has contracted the HIV virus from the girl at the office or the wife who has had to hide the paternity of her son from the man who loves her unconditionally. It's just not worth it!!!

As a single woman in my 40's, I have seen (and done) a lot in my time, so I am the last person to pass judgement on anyone. However, I have also lived long enough to understand that the negative actions of one person can impact future generations in unimaginable ways. So to all of those married people out there who may find themselves 'looking for love in all the wrong places,' free yourself to love yourself and the one that you vowed to love 'for better or worse, in sickness and in health, until death do you part.' And for the single folks who chase after O.P.P. (Other People's 'Property'), it's time to make a change!! After all, you don't want to be the one left standing and wondering where the love went....

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