When looking at the world, what stands out? Things that are shown on the news is violence, killings, theft, amongst other things (Top Stories). Advertisements show starving children (UNICEF USA) and abused animals (StopAnimalCruelty08). So many terrible things happen in the world that it fogs our vision to the beauty and wonderful things the world also contains. There is a song that points out the wonderful things in the world. It is called “What a Wonderful World”. It was written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss (RoundMidnightTV). It was recorded in 1968 by a musician named Louis Armstrong. A biography from a thematic encyclopedia tells us Armstrong, born in 1901, was “A towering figure in jazz history…”. (Armstrong). He began playing the cornet and later switched to the trumpet. In the early 1920’s, he gained an “…international reputation as the most creative jazz musician of his time.” He began to implement his voice, first using scat, “A manner of singing using nonsense syllables, scat presents the voice as a solo instrument.” Increasing the use of his vocals, not only with scat, “…became an integral part of his performance.” He used “…melodic improvisions, daring experiments in tone and pitch, and rhythmic ideas…” that “…inspired generations of musicians.” This indicates he was a very influential musician of his time. In this song, he is expressing all the things he views as to hold beauty in the world. He sings of things like nature, people, and the hopes for the future. Two years later a spoken intro was added to the original (RoundMidnightTV). In this version, Louis Armstrong is reaching out, conveying a message to his listeners that with a little love the world can be a much better place. He does this by acknowledging there are horrible things happening in the world, but the cause of them are people, and to fix the problems, the “secret” is love.
The 1968 original version reminded people of things in the world that are wonderful, but some people may have disagreed with this. The spoken intro version made in 1970 seems to be a response to those that would say this is definitely not a “wonderful world.” He says how some people have been asking him, “How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? That ain’t so wonderful either.” These things were happening long before this song was written all the way to now. An article from Leading Issues Timelines shows the “Punic Wars” dated back to 264-146 B.C. with many more wars following and increasing throughout the times (Staff). Think about how many people have lost their lives due to wars over many centuries. Millions? Billions? Perhaps trillions? War is not the only problem causing people to lose their lives. Starvation is another. A magazine article from the Chronicle of Higher Education says, “In the middle of the 19th century, a devastating famine hit Ireland…” in which “…one million perished…” (Nally). This is just one area at one point in time. Imagine how many more lives have been taken by famine since then. A document from the Institute for Food and Development Policy tells us “At least 700 million people do not have enough to eat”, but there is plenty of food in the world (Poole-Kavana). There is enough to “…provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day worldwide…”. That is an ample amount of food for one person to eat in a day. The article goes on to say, “Food is always available for those who can afford it…”. This shows us that a big part of people not being able to eat is due to poverty. It is not only people being harmed by issues in the world. Pollution destroys the earth. An article about global warming in a magazine called Canada and the World Backgrounder states, “By 1865, factories and steam locomotives…” have been emitting “…smoke and CO2 [carbon dioxide] for several decades.” (Kyoto). This means the air was being polluted years before this time. The article also states, “By the 1990s, millions of gasoline-powered engines were burning fossil fuels…”. This indicates the amount of the pollutants being released in the air is only increasing with time. It also tells us that “A bi- product of burning coal, oil, and gas is carbon dioxide…” The CO2 creates a blanket in the atmosphere that “…traps the heat in, keeping the atmosphere warmer.” The damage to the air that increases global warming has been happening since the 1800’s. We can see that many problems we face today were not only happening when this song was written, but even before that time. Louis understands these issues exist and responds to those who question the original version of the song by saying, “Seems to me, it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doin’ to it.” He blames the people for the problems occurring. Thinking about this, do you believe they are caused by people? People start wars, there is plenty of food to go around to feed everyone, but it is not happening, and pollution by man-made technology is causing harm to the earth. Looking past these issues, we can see the world does contains beauty and wonderful things. If we stop for a moment to see what is right in front of us, we can take in the beauty of this world.
Armstrong goes on to sing about the things that make the world wonderful. “I see trees of green, red roses to, I see them bloom, for me and you.” Just to look at something as simple as a tree or a flower, taking in the colors and aromas is a beautiful thing. When they flourish, and bloom it adds to their beauty. This is not purely about trees and flowers though, he is reminding us to look at nature. Looking around we may see deer grazing in a grassy field. A sandy beach with crystal clear ocean waters hitting the shore, the relaxing sound of the waves and the fresh sea breeze hitting our face. Or maybe just watching the snow hit the ground on a winter day. He also sings, “I see skies of blue, and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, dark sacred night.” This is saying nature’s beauty is not only what we see at eye level. It is peaceful to sit back and look at a big blue sky, maybe making pictures from the clouds. Or the night sky, lying back on a blanket and do a little stargazing. Enjoying a sunrise, the fresh start of a new day, or watching a sunset that can make us grateful we lived another day. We might not be able to see these things every day, but just looking at what is around us contains beauty. It is not only confined to nature.
Louis sings, “The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces, of people going by.” He is telling us that there is beauty in people as well. Louis compares beauty in people to the colors of the rainbow. A rainbow is beautiful, just as a happy, kind person is beautiful. An article in the World of Sociology tells us that “Altruism refers to selfless action which aids other people without regard to personal cost or benefit.” (Altruism). There are people who do kind acts for one another. The article gives examples of altruistic acts. It says, “A man dashes off the street into a burning building to rescue someone he does not know. A woman shares her last $10 with a homeless person on a city street. A young boy jumps into a rising creek to save a drowning dog.” These examples use a man, woman, and a young boy. The diversity of the characters shows that no matter a gender or age, anyone can contain kindness. The article also says, “Some philosophers argue…” that altruism does not exist. It goes on to say, “…there is no proof only plausible interpretations.” The “plausible interpretations” indicates it is open to view it how one wishes. Whether it has a name or not, people exhibit kind acts. A person does not have to put their own well-being on the line to be kind. We see people almost every day doing things such as opening a door for another person, helping someone struggling with an armful of items, and giving up their seat for someone who is need of that seat. Louis continues with, “I see friends shaking hands, sayin’, ‘How do you do?’ They’re really sayin’ ‘I love you’.” The word “friends” does not refer to one person who knows another very well or for a long time, it is about strangers. When a person has a heart full of love and respect for people, they treat everyone as a friend. “How do you do?” really means “I love you”. Here, Armstrong is singing about how people have so much feeling behind what they say and do. It is not just words or motions they may be going through, they care for others. There is feeling behind their words and when they do a kind act it is not with a heavy heart, but a willing heart. There are people in the world with whole-hearted compassion, love and happiness. Can this good quality in people continue in years to come?
Looking towards the future he sings, “I hear babies cryin’, I watch them grow, they’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know.” The world will evolve so much by the time babies of today will be grown. They may come up with cures for diseases, invent cars that run off of coffee, or make self-cleaning houses. Louis is not only referring to intellectual knowledge, but emotional knowledge as well. When we see babies, we are filled with a warmness inside for them. We want to care for them and make sure they are raised to have good qualities. An article in a parenting magazine tells us, “The best way to teach compassion to a baby is to shower her with love and affection. According to author and child psychologist Elizabeth Berger, children need to develop a sense of being cared for and loved before they are able to care for and love others.” (Freeman). By raising a child with love, they grow up to pass it along to their children, as well as others, in turn increasing the love in the world. Love is powerful.
Armstrong says, “Love baby, love. That’s the secret, yeah. If lots more of us loved each other, we’d solve lots more problems.” With these words, he implies his answer to making the world a better place. He is very adamant that it is a “wonderful world”. Louis feels there is beauty to behold all around us, and when we throw love into the equation, the world could thrive into a peaceful, magnificent place. With everyone treating one another with respect, eliminating hatred, greed and selfishness, there would be nothing to distract us from seeing the beauty of it all. He finishes with the words, “Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world. Oh yeah!” His message has been expressed. One word, applied correctly, can change the world. Love.
“Some of you young folks been saying to me ” Hey Pops, what you mean ‘What a wonderful world’? How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? That ain’t so wonderful either.” Well how about listening to old Pops for a minute. Seems to me, it aint the world that’s so bad but what we’re doin’ to it. And all I’m saying is see what a wonderful world It would be if only we’d give it a chance. Love baby, love. That’s the secret, yeah. If lots more of us loved each other we’d solve lots more problems. And then this world would be gasser. That’s wha’ ol’ Pops keeps saying.” I see trees of green, red roses too I see them bloom, for me and you And I think to myself What a wonderful world I see skies of blue, and clouds of white The bright blessed day, dark sacred night And I think to myself What a wonderful world The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky Are also on the faces, of people going by I see friends shaking hands, sayin’, “How do you do?” They’re really sayin’, “I love you” I hear babies cryin’, I watch them grow They’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know And I think to myself What a wonderful world Yes, I think to myself What a wonderful world Oh yeah!
“Altruism.” World of Sociology, Gale, edited by Joseph M. Palmisano, Gale, 1st edition, 2001. Credo Reference, https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/worldsocs/altruism/0. Accessed 8 Mar 2018.
This is an article written about altruism. It explains what it is and discusses why some people display altruistic behavior. The bystander effect is also brought into this article. It discusses what that is as well as why some people display that behavior. I used this to give the definition of altruism, took some examples of the behavior, and to help make a point that kind people do exist. I feel this is a reliable source because it is from the Credo Reference section of the Crafton database.
“Armstrong, Louis (1901-71).” The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Thematic Encyclopedia, edited by Daniel Leab, et al., ABC-CLIO, 1st edition, 2009, Credo Reference, https://search.credoreference.com/content/topic/armstrong_louis_1901_1971. Accessed 6 March 2018.
This is an article of the biography of Louis Armstrong. It includes when and where he was born, who his parents were, a little about his childhood, how he came to his music career, his accomplishments, and information on his death. I used this to tell some details about his music career, so readers would understand who he was and how he influenced the world of music during his time. I feel this is a reliable source because it is from the Credo Reference section of the Crafton database. At the bottom of the page it lists all the references they had used to get their information.
da-kuk. “Love the Earth-Stock image.” “iStock by Getty Images.” “iStockphoto LP,” 15 Oct 2013, https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=world+with+love&chips=q:world+with+love,g_9:heart+shape&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi54uXqh-DZAhXQ6J8KHfCmB2gQ4lYINigA&biw=1365&bih=868&dpr=0.75#imgrc=7gqjXaOZXlqxlM: Photograph, Accessed 9 Mar 2018.
This is a photograph of a heart-shaped earth. I used this for the cover photo.
Freeman, Amanda L. Parenting. “Raising a kid who cares.” May 2008, Vol. 22 Issue 4, pp. 111-114, “Parenting,” http://web.a.ebscohost.com/chc/detail?vid=9&sid=50a732b9-bd82-484c-a2d2-96ad1dde7ad8%40sessionmgr4010&bdata=JnNpdGU9Y2hjLWxpdmU%3d#AN=31973258&db=cmh. Accessed 7 Mar 2018.
This is an article in a parenting magazine with information on teaching compassion to your children. It explains ways to approach this in babies, toddlers, preschoolers, grade schoolers, and pre-teens. I used this to explain that a child needs to be raised with love, for them to love in return. I feel this is a reliable source because it came from EBSCOhost under the Crafton database. Their source was an article written by a child psychiatrist out of a parenting magazine.
Harlson, Gisele. “The many questions of love.” “Gisele Haralson.” Giseleharalson.com. “Gisele Haralson,” 30 Aug 2015, https://www.google.com/search?biw=1365&bih=868&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=o_qhWpqRIZTOjwP3hri4CA&q=love&oq=love&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i67k1l5j0j0i67k1l4.94898.97468.0.99218.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.916.0j8.8.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.9.941….0.YRtFG47pT20#imgrc=7664P05n_ErkvM: Accessed 9 Mar 2018.
This is a picture for the sixth paragraph. I used this as a visual, Armstrong’s solution is love so I found a picture representing love.
“Kyoto Protocol.” Canada and the World Backgrounder (Waterloo, Canada) Vol.71, No.2, Oct, 2005, pp. 3-32, SIRS Issues Researcher, http://sks.sirs.com/webapp/article?artno=0000243194&type=ART#cite. Accessed 6 Mar 2018.
This is a magazine article about what is happening with the environment. It explains how global warming effects tropical storms, how emission of carbon dioxide creates global warming, that the oceans get warmer from global warming, and our planet is getting dimmer sunlight than it previously was. I used this to show how pollution to the planet was happening long ago and how pollution connects to global warming. I feel this is a reliable source because it came from the SIRS Issues Researcher in the Crafton database. They reprinted it directly from Canada and the World Backgrounder. Throughout the article, they list the links to the articles they got their information from.
This is a picture for the fifth paragraph. I used this as a visual about babies being the future.
Maja, Darinka CC BY 2.0. The world may not be such a scary place after all. “Medical Daily.” Medicaldaily.com. 13 Jan 2016, Photograph, “Newsweek Media Group,” http://www.medicaldaily.com/pay-it-forward-being-nice-part-human-nature-369376. Accessed 9 Mar 2018.
This is a photograph for the fourth paragraph. It is a man handing maybe a warm cup of coffee to a person on a sidewalk on a cold day. I used this as a visual for kind people.
Nally, David P. “A Closer Look at Famine.” Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct, 2011, SIRS Issues Researcher, http://sks.sirs.com/webapp/article?artno=0000319674&type=ART#cite. Accessed 7 Mar 2018.
This is a magazine article written about famine, drought, malnutrition, diseases, poverty, and climate changes. I used this for the information of the famine in Ireland during the 1800’s. I wanted to show that this was not a problem that has only been happening recently. I feel this is a reliable source because it comes from the SIRS Issue Researcher in the Crafton database. The author of this article is a lecturer in geography at the University of Cambridge and wrote another article called “Political Violence and the Great Irish Famine” for the University of Notre Dame Press.
Poole-Kavana, Holly. “12 Myths about Hunger.” Food First Backgrounder Vol.12, No.2, 2006, pp. 1-4, SIRS Issues Researcher, http://sks.sirs.com/webapp/article?artno=0000253884&type=ART#cite. Accessed 6 March 2018.
This is a document that discusses 12 different myths people believe about ending world hunger. The 12 myths are 1. Not enough food to go around, 2. Nature is to blame for famine, 3. Too many people, 4. The environment vs. more food, 5. The green revolution is the answer, 6. We need large farms, 7. The free market can end hunger, 8. Free trade is the answer, 9. Too hungry to fight for their rights, 10. More U.S. aid will help the hungry, 11. We benefit from their poverty, and 12. Curtail freedom to end hunger. I used this as an example to show there is plenty of food for everyone in the world and one of the problems is being able to afford it. I feel this is a reliable source because it comes from the SIRS Issue Researcher in the Crafton database. It was directly reprinted from the Institute for Food and Development Policy.
Rosenstand, Vihelm Jacob. “Second Schleswig War.” Schleswig and Jutland. 1894, https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1365&bih=868&ei=kPWhWsafIImGjwPWk5KABA&q=war&oq=war&gs_l=img.3..0l10.2380.2649.0.3126.96.36.199.0.0.0.93.249.3.3.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..0.3.246….0.Rl6TFIoIzi4#imgrc=F0tVkqXjfLOaiM:. Accessed 9 Mar 2018.
This is a painting of the Second Schleswig War. I used this as a visual for the second paragraph pertaining to the terrible things in the world.
RoundMidnightTV. “Louis Armstrong-What A Wonderful World (Spoken Intro Version) ABC Records 1970.” www.youtube.com. “YouTube,” 13 Sep 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nGKqH26xlg. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
This is a website used to post videos, and users can post replies about the videos they watch. I used this so the readers can watch the video if they would like to, or just listen to it while following along with the lyrics, and who the song was written by and in what year.
sea ocean beach photography. “Beach sea photography 20.” webneel.com. http://webneel.com/i/ocean-landscapes/20-beach-sea-photography/04-2013/w?nid=8749. Accessed 9 Mar 2018.
This is the picture for the third paragraph. I used it for a visual about nature being beautiful.
Staff, ProQuest. World Conflicts Timeline. Leading Issues Timelines, 2018, SIRS Issues Researcher, http://sks.sirs.com/webapp/article?artno=0000292607&type=ART#cite. Accessed 7 Mar 2018.
This is an article that shows a timeline of world conflicts. It lists the years the conflicts took place and a little bit of information on each one. I used this to explain wars have been going on in the world since the times of B.C. I feel this is a reliable source because it came from the SIRS Issues Researcher in the Crafton database.
StopAnimalCruelty08. “Sarah McLachlan: Animal Cruelty Commercial.” www.youtube.com. “YouTube,” 13 Jul 2009, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERRlDEoHG9Y&feature=youtu.be. Accessed 7 Mar 2018.
This is a website where videos can be posted, and users can post replies about the videos they watch. I used this to show the commercial about donating to save abused animals, so readers know it exists. I feel this is reliable pertaining to the video, it is the commercial.
“Top Stories.” “News.” Google.com. “Google,” news.google.com. https://news.google.com/news/#0. Accessed 5 Mar 2018.
This is a news website. It shows top stories going on at the time one accesses the website. I used this as an example of what is happening in the news lately. I feel this is reliable in the way of giving a gist of what we may see in the news.
UNICEF USA. “UNICEF USA: Save a Child for Only 50 Cents a Day.” www.youtube.com. “YouTube,” 4 Sep 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XozrqJHA-yI&feature=youtu.be. Accessed 7 Mar 2018.
This is a website where videos can be posted, and users can post replies to the videos they watch. I used this to show a commercial of donating to help the children that are starving in the world, so readers would know it exists. I feel this is reliable pertaining to the video itself, it shows the commercial.