Pete Seeger's legacy [Letter]

January 30, 2014

The world has lost a great and wise man with the death of Pete Seeger ("Folk legend, activist Pete Seeger dead at 94," Jan. 28).

One of the primary lessons he tried to teach us was one of inclusiveness. It was impossible to attend a Pete Seeger concert and not feel invited to join in and to participate by singing along with him.

His slight modification to an old African-American spiritual was to change the words from "I shall overcome," to "We shall overcome." That slight inclusive change altered the course of our nation.

Our world, our nation, our state, our city badly need to deeply understand this lesson. We cannot educate our children unless their parents are involved. Cities cannot combat crime unless residents are involved. Doctors cannot heal patients unless the patients are involved. Our military cannot bring peace and order to Afghanistan unless the Afghans are involved.

We and our leaders would do well to heed Pete's lesson: When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?

Dick Cook, Baltimore

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