Whether it's Charlottesville, VA or Troy, NY racial tension, anger, political outrage and violence appear to be dominating the headlines and on everyone's mind. It's unavoidable even if you try to avoid it.  Heck, I'm writing about it now even as I should be asleep.  It's frustrating, it's depressing and, unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.  I shared an experience the other day with my 2-year-old son Brody that was unplanned, unexpected, and quite powerful. I'll share it with you knowing that it's not going to change the world but might help a bit during these very tense and tenuous times.

While sitting with Brody on my couch, my laptop open, I started playing some music. Somehow, someway, the universe told me to play "Imagine" for him by John Lennon. Totally random; that's never a song I add to a playlist.  I don't even own any full Beatles albums let alone John Lennon.  My two year old was mesmerized and couldn't take his eyes off my computer, not an easy thing to accomplish considering that it's not overly produced and the video quality surely isn't up to eye candy Disney standards. I relished the moment as well and I watched him as he watched it. He rocked back and forth at the melody and smiled a bit as he did so. I smiled too. In that moment, for those three and half minutes, there was peace. My son was safe and content and I felt like Lennon's message was resonating more than ever. "Imagine" is void of color, race, creed, religion or political allegiance. It's a song about humans being "humane."  It felt like the national anthem for the world.

I consider myself somewhat of a realist. I try to view the world with "skeptical optimism". In other words, I hope for the best, but prepare myself for the worst. Will there every be a time in my life where there's less social divide, violence and hatred in general? The skeptic in me thinks it's doubtful.  But I can and will imagine a better place for Brody.

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