Week #16: Only One

This week’s song selection was inspired by this week’s Google Doodle for Earth Day.

Here’s the Earth Day message Google shared with its video:

This year’s annual Earth Day Doodle highlights how everyone can plant the seed to a brighter future—one sapling at a time! 

The planet we call home continues to nurture life and inspire wonder. Our environment works hard to sustain us, which calls for us to return the favor. Today’s video Doodle shows a variety of trees being planted within natural habitats, one of the many ways we can do our part to keep our Earth healthy for future generations.

This Earth Day—and everyday—we encourage everyone to find one small act they can do to restore our Earth. It’s bound to take root and blossom into something beautiful.

Happy Earth Day 2021!

– Google Earth Day message

The video reminded me of a song I wrote nearly five years ago after seeing a Facebook post someone posted about a tree his father planted that was still standing in the backyard of his family’s childhood home. I was really moved by it because I knew that his father died decades ago.

Planting a tree is such a powerful act because it’s like giving a gift to future generations you may never know. Just as someone planted all the trees that provide us with shade and fruit today, the deeds we do today should benefit others in our future, some of whom we may never meet.

The tree was planted long ago
He who planted it didn’t know
Who it would shelter from the sun
He just did what needed to be done

He wasn’t seeking glory or fame
Nobody even knows his name
But the world’s a better place
Because he was here

No matter what our place is in the world, we have the power to influence someone else’s life for the better.

It takes only one
One kind gesture, one kind word
It takes only one
Only one to change the world

Some people receive esteemed recognition for the work they do, receiving awards and being honored by organizations, while others may never even realize how they have positively affected someone else’s life.

His name’s not on any building
He was never honored for his deed
He never expected recognition
He looked around and found a need

Just as others have planted trees or created communities that we benefit from today, now it’s our turn to give back and sustain them, as well as build and create new innovations that will help future generations.

The tree was planted long ago
It took many years to grow
Now it’s time to plant our own
Because we are here

In addition to the song being timely because of the Earth Day video, it’s also timely because this weekend marks 40 years that the person who inspired this week’s song died. If the date April 24, 1981 means anything to you, you may be a Rick Springfield fan, as that’s the title of the first song he wrote about his Dad’s death (and it was on his hit record “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet”). (RS’s brother was the person who posted the Facebook post that inspired this song.) So this week’s post is also in remembrance of his dad and the legacy he left behind.

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