Seeds of Hope
THE SEEDS OF HOPE STORY My name is David Herring, I'm just a Dad, but I have been inspired by my kids to stand up and try to do something to counter the gross injustices that have been occurring recently on our planet. For many weeks as a family we watched horrific images of ethnic cleansing occurring in Kosova, we shed tears but we did nothing. We watched people being brutally driven from their homes, we asked questions but did nothing. We watched families split up and shipped to safe havens around the world and eventually saw a group of refugees arrive in our hometown of Perth in Western Australia. We sighed with relief but did nothing. Then one day, my daughter Jody, got up and went to the gates of the refugee camp with a bunch of flowers and stayed until she was allowed in. She was at last able to shake the hands and touch the faces and eventually the hearts of the people we had watched so helplessly on our TVs. She brought a group of her new found friends home to a BBQ and we danced in a circle through the night with our hands joined high above our heads in their traditional style and tried as best as we could to sing their songs with them. It made me realise that these people were not just images that we absorbed from our TV sets, but real human beings just like us caught in a tragic set of circumstances. Around the same time, William Joseph, a brilliant pianist, had sent a tape to us of a beautiful song he had composed and asked if we could put words to it. Having seen the images on TV and now having heard the stories of Kosova first hand, it was not too hard to write the lyrics and through Williams's tune express our feelings about what was going on. It was at the BBQ that my youngest daughter, Melle was able to sing the new song to the refugees and it was on seeing the warmth and the tears that it generated that I realised we had a very powerful medium through which we could perhaps encourage the regrowth that was so desperately needed in some of the more turbulent regions of the world. We took our song to Planet Studios who gathered together some of the best musicians and engineers in the country. Patrick Reale, John Villani, Marcus Dengate, Joel Marangella, Trevor Spencer, Alfredo Malabello, Paul Tanner, Rebecca Blakemore, Yoko Kurihara, Cliff Blackburn and Nunzio Mondia. Great sounding names for good people whose ethnic backgrounds are as rich and diverse as their musical talents and through them we have been able to produce our beautiful song which we have called Seeds of Hope. We hope that our CD will travel the world and let people know that there are others across the seas that do care and are prepared to help where they can because sometimes just knowing that can often trigger the healing process. We live on the most beautiful planet in our galaxy and as human beings with the gift of free will and reasoning we have a duty to try and make this a safe and nurturing place to live. To those who use their cause as an excuse to justify their atrocities and crimes against humanity we say defiantly, 'You will not prevail'. We are the Mums and Dads and the children of the world, we are the music makers, the students and teachers, we are the office workers, the builders, the miners, the workers in the fields, on the highways and on the waters and 'we outnumber you' We are from all nations and religions and we are driven by and draw strength from our belief that good will always conquer evil and as you destroy so we will build. It is our duty as parents to try to raise our kids in an environment of tolerance and harmony and to those sad armchair warriors who spit their old hatreds and racial prejudices at their families I say, ' Please, hold your fire'. Because one day those very words may become the bullets that take your loved ones from you. We have no need for warrior kings who say stand behind me and I will destroy our enemies we need a new generation of leaders who say stand behind me and I will go and make peace with our enemies. We need leaders who have the vision and courage to make their own footprints in the sand instead of following blindly down the paths of others. In the eyes of the world a nation takes on the personality if it's leader so we must be careful who we chose to represent us. As individuals we should not look outward to see what we can take but look inwards to see what we have to give. We need to put our hands forward not clenched in anger, or cupped to receive, but proudly with a firm handshake of friendship and respect. As we move forward into the new millennium we must plant our seeds of hope early for without hope there will be no garden for our children to enjoy. As you listen to our song please remember the words of the young refugee who said that as he listened and closed his eyes he imagined himself as a bird flying high above the clouds and he could see his village rising up again through the smoke and rubble. That is what this is all about. Please, let's fly with him. ---------- Our CD has two tracks, one with vocals and the second is a Karaoke track, so that people can sing it in their own language. We have just received a copy from a Music School in Kosova that has been recorded in Albanian. It is so rewarding to know that our message is reaching people where it is most needed. Melle has sung SOH at Refugee Awareness events and Drug Awareness evenings and we are now taking our message into the Schools as part of the Living In Harmony and Year of Peace activities. If we can reach kids early enough perhaps we will be able to make a difference. We all have a duty to try. David Herring.