THE BLOG

There's a Light in the Darkness (LISTEN)

06/30/2010 03:05 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

It's truly overwhelming to think about today's crazy throw away plastic culture of cookie cutter corporate fast food, ever changing updating cell phones, ipods and pads (and all their subsequent future discarded carcasses), city after city stamped with the same stores and products, our malls and airports teaming with glazed sleep-walking tweet/texting zombies who's consciousness is half rooted 30 emails deep sending and receiving, diving and retrieving the next snippet in the hand-held portholes to the black hole of the "social network."

Add to that a government tangled in the web of corporate greed, impotent so far in the face of this environmental disaster in the Gulf. And then toss in the quagmire of Afghanistan. These feel like dark days indeed.

I can't imagine what it must feel like to come of age in this time. I do know I would be much more worried about the future had I not found out about Peacejam.

I fell in love with Peacejam (peacejam.org) a few years back when I saw with my own eyes the powerful shift that took place in Memphis Tennessee when 400 high school age kids were engaged and inspired by a story told by Jose Ramos Horta, a Nobel Peace Laureate from East Timor, about his life and what lead to his winning the Nobel Peace prize. Over the course of the weekend with him, these young folks were transformed, empowered and brought together into dialog with Ramos Horta and with each other. He gave them a sense of how important their involvement is in creating the future they are stepping into. They were deeply affected going forward. Since 1996, over 600,000 youth have participated in the PeaceJam programming resulting in nearly 1 million youth-led service projects.

Being a witness to this gave me renewed hope that, given the opportunity to be engaged and inspired, young people are a force to be reckoned with and are certainly not shrinking violets when it comes to creative solutions for a chaotic world in need of heartfelt attention.

Go to peacejam.org for the whole story, which is an amazing one!

PeaceJam revolves around three simple ideas: Education, Inspiration and Action. Youth learn about the lives of 12 Nobel Peace Laureates, (which include Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama). They get a chance to meet the Nobels at a weekend youth conference, and take action by leading a Global Call to Action. This is real nuts and bolts stuff that works. I've seen how the intentions are followed through and I'm not kidding when I say it gives me tremendous hope for the future.

At the celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Peacejam, I had the opportunity to meet one of the most powerful Peace Nobel Laureates -- Rigoberta Menchu Tum, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for the rights of the Mayan people in Guatemala and indigenous people around the world. She is the youngest woman and the only Native American individual to ever win the prize. Her life story is a complete and total inspiration.

On July 8, 2010 Rigoberta Menchu Tum will be coming to Naropa University's Nalanda Campus in Boulder. She will be bringing with her some of her teachers, Don Pedro Yae Noj and Dona Faviana Cochoy Alva, who are of the most respected Mayan elders. They have come to carry on in the oral tradition sharing some amazing insights during an event called "2012 Revealed with Rigoberta Menchu Tum." Also, Rigoberta be introduced by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Women Who Run With The Wolves).

More details about this are available if you go to here.

If I wasn't touring and doing shows elsewhere I would not miss this auspicious gathering! But at least I can help spread the word. And if, like I was, you are starting to feel that we'll never dig ourselves out of this mess--check out Peacejam.org and I promise you it'll put a ray of light straight into your heart.

I like the way Rigoberta puts it: "A new time is drawing near. It is like the coming of a new dawn. We are waiting for a new sunrise. So it is important to maintain the light shining in these days. That is our personal lights within, but also the collective light of humanity. "

So in honor of Rigoberta and each of us light bearers I offer and dedicate this song that I wrote many years ago during a time of great sorrow and upheaval when my husband was dying of cancer. It brought him an enormous amount of comfort at that time... and at this time of chaos, imbalance and upheaval on our delicate earth, the words have never felt truer.

LISTEN:

There's A Light

There's a light, there's a light in the darkness
And the black of the night cannot harm us
We can trust not to fear, for our comfort is near
There's a light, there's a light in the darkness

It will rain, it will rain in the desert
In the cracks of the plain there's a treasure
Like the thirst of the seed, we await, we believe
It will rain, it will rain in the desert

We will fly, we will fly, we will let go
To this world we will die, but our hearts know
We'll see more on that side when the door opens wide
We will fly, we will fly, we will fly we will fly....
...we will all go

Beth Nielsen Chapman