For What It’s Worth
I’m 73 years-old and became a man in the sixties. Back then a song called For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield became the cornerstone of my human philosophy. Now as a Christian, I see a greater message in that song, as I connect the words with the evil nature of Mankind’s heart. We were being warned about the future, but didn’t listen.
The chorus is an American statement of that decade. “It’s time we stop. Hey, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”
I look around and see every verse of that song alive and unwell in America. But I shouldn’t be surprised. The clash of tribal, belief systems, and racial differences has destroyed every civilization since Egypt. So let’s dissect the verses.
There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s a man with a gun over there. Telling me I gotta beware. (Chorus)
Depending on one’s point of view, the man with the gun could be a cop, a robber, a protester trying to change my mind with force. He certainly isn’t my friend. He’s telling me—be afraid. Be very afraid. Without Christ as my strength and my shield fear would consume me.
There’s battle lines being drawn. Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. Young people speaking their minds. Getting so much resistance from behind. (Chorus)
You can legislate change and protest for your rights. But you can’t change the human heart. Battle lines are being drawn all over America on so many issues I can’t name them all. With every political or legislative victory for one side, the other’s resolve to fight grows to the point where hatred embeds. The youth, like in the late sixties and early seventies, fight idealistically for equality and peace, when Mankind can’t define the words.
Humans never rid themselves of prejudices. Take away the dictator at the top, and the old rivalries from centuries ago come right back. Then people kill each other. Iraq, the Arab spring, and the conflicts in Serbia and Kosovo prove the point.
What a field day for the heat. A thousand people in the street. Singing songs and carrying signs. Mostly say hooray for our side. (Chorus)
The police are people. They crack under the pressure of their jobs. The very people they try to protect shoot them out of hate. Every action they take is videotaped, cell phones record the events, and people judge them based on which side they’re on. Protestors throw rocks and rally others to their causes. Trouble shocks America daily.
Paranoia runs deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid. Step out of line, the man come and take you away. (Chorus)
One day, those who aren’t politically correct will say something or do something viewed as unpopular by those in power, and be arrested for expressing their opinion by the very people crying for equality and justice. Then America will fall. God will only be patient so long, before He administers justice. Meantime, I will not fear for He is with me.