“The World You Want”

Originally written by me on February 13th:

Recently, I was listening to this song, “The World You Want” by Switchfoot, and I found the message of the song to be quite interesting, involving the topics of the purpose of life, freedom, and God. (Here is a link to the lyrics). Within this song, Jon Foreman, the lead singer, describes the world that we currently live in as a busy and “malicious” world torn to pieces. However, he also implies the hope of putting back the pieces and uniting the world again (“I’m kickin up the pieces…I’m trying to fix a place that feels broken”). This part of the song, in particular, reminds me of Bryan’s presentation about freedom. One theme, in general, that I can gather through his presentation and his blog posts is his emphasis on hope and how hope is an important element for striving toward a better world. Also, the description of a broken world reminds me of the arguments presented by philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes about how people will naturally turn to chaos and how Bryan mentioned the idea of freedom being commonly abused.

However, as the song continues, one particular message resonated very strongly: “Is this the world you want? You’re making it.” Not only is this a reflection similar to a New Year’s resolution (which we had quite a few blog posts about at the beginning of the year) in which we, as a society, look back on how we have progressed and critically analyze what we have done that was right and what we have done that was wrong, but it is also a motivation to take action. I think that I, as well as other high school seniors, would find this message particularly interesting because of our unique perspectives of soon going on into college and then into the world. At this point, our goals, dreams, and values will most strongly carry us into who we are going to be, and I think that it is important to listen to this message in this song and recognize we should make a difference in the world that we are soon entering.

Finally, I want to emphasize the point that the song makes about a new look at the word “religion.” Jon Foreman does not just simply use religion to describe faith in a God, but rather to describe everything in a person’s life, from what he or she says to what he or she loves to every breath he or she takes. I think this kind of religion is generally more significant that the word religion that we commonly throw around as something that requires a focus on the supernatural and a deviance from science. Rather, this part of the lyrics saying, “…is your religion” reflects the message that your life is your religion and your values and beliefs are crucial to forming who you are.

Overall, I would highly recommend listening to this song and paying particular attention to the lyrics. I think that it is a powerful song and draws attention to ideas that both connect to the philosophical ideas that we have discussed and to our unique perspective as high school seniors who are not too far off from entering the real world.


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by David J. Glowny

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