Wake up, everybody

Letter to the Editor, Napa Register / December 20, 2020


It feels like a really bad nightmare, and in that hallucination, we’re stuck in the middle of a war we weren’t prepared to fight, a war that could only begin after we became a nation divided. The old “divide and conquer” theory, works every time right? Not here, not now and not ever — now is the time for us to wake up from that bad dream.

Our Napa Valley community is less divided and determined to work together to fight the war on this pandemic — together. We were the first California county to reopen, largely due to our collaborative community effort, but also because of our individual willingness to take personal responsibility for the health and safety of others — our families, neighbors, friends and even local businesses.

It may not always seem like it, but we continue to fight hand-in-hand in our little bubble, despite the uncertainty surrounding us. It’s very difficult and frustrating but gives me hope that we will get through this. It’s the reason I tell people all the time that as bad as times have been — through earthquake, fires and the now the pandemic — I wouldn’t want for me or my family to experience going through any of it in any other place, with any other community.

It also reminds me of one of my favorite songs, titled “Wake Up, Everybody.” It was originally performed by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes back in 1975, yet so fittingly describes our situation today.

Wake up, everybody
No more sleepin’ in bed
No more backward thinkin’ time for thinkin’ ahead
The world has changed
So very much
From what it used to be
There is so much hatred
War and poverty,
Wake up, all the teachers
Time to teach a new way
Maybe then they’ll listen
To what you have to say
‘Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up
And the world is in their hands
When you teach the children
Teach ’em the very best you can
The world won’t get no better
If we just let it be
The world won’t get no better
We gotta change it, yeah
Just you and me

The song speaks of war and poverty, teachers having to teach a new way, doctors keeping old people well, and us lending our hand to build a new land.

The main message of the song is that we have the power to change the world —just you and me — with the individual actions we take each and every day. It reminds us that if we choose to do so, everything will work itself out — just as it always does. Truer words were never spoken.

Wake up, everybody!

Please go to napachamber.com to see a local version/video of the song, comprised and edited by Caleb Sutter of 1700 Film and Media, the preferred videographer of the Napa Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for engaging, connecting and collaborating with us.

Travis Stanley, President/CEO

Napa Chamber of Commerce