For some, the end of 2015 brought celebration and for others it brought strife. Though a new year brings a fresh start, it is also a time to reflect upon past triumphs as well as hardships. It has been two months since the deadly attack on Paris in November of 2015, and for many, the grief is still all too near.
There has not been peace within these two months, regardless of those who desperately yearn for it. Attacks in California, Jakarta and many more as well as the refugee crisis have been scorching the collective soul of humanity. It is easy to cram these realities deep into the subconscious while filling the conscious mind with celebrity gossip, phone screens and the frivolous minutia of day-to-day life. It is in the subconscious where these harsh realities lay dormant until another catastrophe awakens them.
Being wholly informed and empathetic can be emotionally taxing but it is possible to find a balance between awareness and sanity. Ignorance is bliss but knowledge leads to enlightenment and enlightenment is the ultimate bliss so ignorance is pointless. Those who seek it know the path to enlightenment is riddled with adversity but in order to see the light one must embrace the dark. To be human is to embody good and evil, virtue and sin, yin and yang, the ultimate duality which is a part of us is also a part of our entire world.
Living in the free country of America, I too have found myself whisked away by the ever-flowing river of mass hypnosis. Though I have grown accustomed to a life undisturbed by war, I never take safety for granted, which is a feeling that many people in the world go to sleep at night, wishing that they had. Feeling helpless in such a depraved world can be overwhelming but there are many ways to relieve this helplessness as well as the pain that we feel for all of humanity's wounds.
Our voices are more than just invisible soundwaves wiggling through the air. It is the meaning our minds apply to these soundwaves that really have an impact. It can be drawn out of us through writing, art, poetry, spoken word and music. Our voices are harbingers of change. Musician and songwriter, Victor Johnson, uses his compositions as a conduit for healing and awareness. Because music is the language that all of humanity speaks, he transforms the tragedies of the world into inspiring music, working through the pain via creation.
Based out of Oregon, Johnson mainly writes about those who have fallen victim to harrowing attacks, having composed tracks based on the Sandy Hook and Charleston shootings, just to name a few. His most recent composition has been for the Paris attacks in his song "J'Adore La France." Johnson is one of the many artists who are warriors of light, reminding humanity to care when our fellow humans are suffering. Art, literature and music have long since been vessels toward change. If the pen is mightier than the sword, then the voice is mightier than the pen.