I have a lot of different interests and like to rotate them to keep life fresh. Today I’m back in music mode. Music to me is almost a spiritual activity. As Abraham Lincoln once put it, music strikes “The mystic chords of memory.”

“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” – Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861, from his first inaugural address.

So here’s a Saturday song that stirs up wonderful memories in me. I was ten years old when this song came out. And although I didn’t own the 45, I did own another 45 by Chicago. And this song was literally all over the AM radio airwaves.

Whenever I hear it, it conjures up images of hippie youths in a parkette near where I live. Everything’s easy. Everyone’s happy. The world has hope and a lot of good in it.

Happiness Is a Walk in the Park

Seems however, the world has changed since then. Or at least, the ‘tone’ of the world. Instead of trust, we have suspicion. Instead of decency, we have vulgarity. Instead of law-abiding citizens being the norm, we have corruption and crime strangling the economic and psychological well-being of many individuals and families.

Sure there was corruption and crime back then. But it wasn’t the cynical ‘norm’ that seems to be infecting so many people today. People expected better.

So what happened?

What is the reason why not only America but many other democractic countries have fallen so far?

And more importantly, what can we all do to keep us from going over the edge? That point of no return?