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Working Not Waiting

By Josh Spring

In 2006 the musician John Mayer released a song which included the following lyrics:

“…Now we see everything that’s going wrong

With the world and those who lead it…”


“…To bring our neighbors home from war

they would have never missed a Christmas

No more ribbons on their door

And when you trust your television

What you get is what you got

Cause when they own the information, oh

They can bend it all they want”

These lyrics are pretty good; identifying what’s wrong and who’s leading the wrong, ending war and not trusting mass media. But the rest of the lyrics of this song mirror a major problem among so many groups of people:

“…With the world and those who lead it

We just feel like we don’t have the means

To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting (waiting)

Waiting on the world to change…”


“It’s hard to beat the system

When we’re standing at a distance

So we keep waiting (waiting)

Waiting on the world to change”


“Now if we had the power

To bring our neighbors home from war…

It’s not that we don’t care

We just know that the fight ain’t fair

So we keep waiting (waiting)

Waiting on the world to change”

What the hell! You know the problems, you know the problems need to be ended, but your waiting on things to change? He’s right that we may not yet have the “means to rise above and beat it” and that “It’s hard to beat the system when we’re standing at a distance” and that the “fight ain’t fair”. Duh, yes these are true statements. But these are not reasons to wait. In fact there are no reasons to wait on making change.

If we don’t currently have the “means” then we have to make the means. So we have to strategize, execute, re-evaluate and organize people. The “means” are never going to magically appear or be given to us, we make them, really, as we hone ourselves, we are them. The best way to not be “standing at a distance” is to move forward, into the fray; strategically ignite the fray. And about the fight not being fair; yes the majority of resources are controlled by the few extremely wealthy people and companies and the very wealthy who envy them, but we have a whole lot more people than they do. I know some reading this may be thinking, “…oh don’t make it an ‘us and them’ thing.” It already is an “us and them” thing and allowing ourselves to be blinded by faux warm and fuzzies about everyone just needing to work together keeps poverty and oppression well fed. Instead we need to own the fact that we have many, many people and organizing our collective strength is how we recover the necessary resources to ensure just opportunity for healthy life.

At the end of the song, Mayer sings:

“One day our generation

Is gonna rule the population

So we keep waiting (waiting)

Waiting on the world to change…”

Perhaps he is saying he believes that once his generation “rule[s] the population” change will happen, so he and his friends are just “waiting” for that day. If we claim we are “waiting” on something to change the world or we are “waiting” on our having enough power to change the world, really we are just utilizing the word “wait” to act as if care, but the timing just isn’t right yet. This is faith without works. Having faith things will change, even having faith we will lead such a change, but doing nothing about it keeps the paths to destruction well-established. We should have faith justice will rule, but the faith is born in working to eliminate the paths to destruction and concurrently establish justice. We aren’t waiting.

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