Posted by: mygentlecloud | August 11, 2011

Be careful of words repeated often in the mind

Besides the financial turmoil going on around us, one of the most disturbing news this week is the sudden explosion of riots in UK. A particularly horrible scene I came across was the video of a young man who was injured and sitting on the floor in a daze. A few men came to help him up, only to have one of them unzip his backpack and take his things. Even a cyclist passing by helped himself to the contents which was still hanging on the poor guy’s back. How could they do that?

I shared this with my daughter this morning while driving her to school.  I described how the camera man tracked the looters who were all wearing hoodies, with their hoods pulled up over their heads. They knew what they were doing was wrong, which was why they hid their faces, so that they would not be recognized. Shame on them.

The hooded look reminded me of the music culture I see nowadays which a lot of the young take to. Street gang type of attire. Hand signals with the thumb and pinky and one other finger extended. Chains and studs in some cases. But unifying all of them are the sweater look with a hood either off or on the head.

Prime on the list is Eminem, who struts his stuff on stage with a hood covering his head, spouting hatred and venom and rage at issues he chose to attack. The music is innocuously injected with pleasant, spellbinding interludes by other famous female artists to capture the imagination of  music-lovers. Listen to the words in the lyrics. Read them on websites. It is utterly shocking, referring to sex and killing and the devil in the same breath as love and living, laced with totally gutter language. Some of them have words scoffing at law and order and suggesting ways to manhandle and torture cops!

Think about it. Young people who are fans of these pop idols sing their songs. The songs act like prayers on their lips, memorised in their minds, insidiously influencing their subconscious when the words get repeated again and again when they sing. I watched videos of the concerts where the crowd sang along with the performer. How many times must they have sung it to have those words memorised? What effects do these have on their young minds?

Such songs are rants, a “Let it all out” type of therapy which, in the past, were thought to be healing. Now, I am not so sure. The words and thoughts of the songwriter get propagated a million times and shake the foundations of what is good. Principles like “I will not steal”, “I will not lie”, “I will not kill”, “I will not harm”, “peace, no war”, forbearance, patience,  all get thrown aside, and in their places, are the seeds of evil:  show your hatred , meet violence with violence, curse and swear, “It’s ok to do it. Others are doing it, too” type of mentality. The result of all these are loss of self-control of our words and actions and thinking, and not knowing what is right from wrong. both of which are cornerstones for maintaining peace and harmony in this world.

To nett this down, be careful of what music we or our children listen to. They wreak havoc in our minds, and I daresay, our souls, too.

Su Yin


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