“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright” -Bob Marley
Chances are you recognize those words to be the lyrics from a Bob Marley song, One Love. Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of the late Bob Marley you have at some point in your life heard these words. Now, more than ever they speak to our current political and social environment.
Yoga and Reggae share many of the same ideas of peace, compassion, unity, community, harmony, love, and a world community, just to name a few. What better time to share the words and teaching of Bob Marley with our youth than right now?
To be clear, my first exposure to Bob Marley like many was in the context of a cannabis user and icon of cannabis use long before it was legal in much of the United States. It wasn’t until after I began to listen to the music, understand the words and research the life of Bob Marley that I realized the depth of the music that today continues to transcend race, language and cultures around the world.
All of those ideas sound like something I want to teach my kids, so why don’t we use the songs, words and message in teaching our kids? I set out to look at how I can share my love of Bob Marley with my children and I was amazed at the resources that exist to help me share these messages of peace, love and unity.
One of my absolute favorite books to read to my kids and yoga classes is One Love, a book based on the song with the same title sung by Bob Marley. Written by Cedella Marley, the daughter of Bob Marley, Cedella has taken this reggae classic and turned it into a book filled with love and a message of community and unity. This message resonates with the yoga community sharing universal love: “One love, one heart, one destiny.”
Cedella Marley has also penned two additional books based on her father’s songs,Get Up, Stand Up, a message of movement, highlighting injustice, courage and kindness.I can’t think of a better book to share with children about bullying, race, sacrifice, and unity than the message of “Don’t give up the fight. Stand up for your rights.”
Every Little Thing, based on the Bob Marley song Three Little Birds is another one of those songs that you can’t help but sing along. The words tell a story of hope and love, keeping your head up and not letting anything get you down. Find the joy in everything in the world and around you. “Don’t worry about a thing. Every little thing is gonna be alright”.
A compilation of music made especially for kids called B is for Bob is a great introduction to the songs of Bob Malrey meeting young kids on their level, something Kidding Around Yoga provides to its little yogis.
I have compiled a list of songs I enjoy sharing with my kids, each song comes with it’s own message and depending on the age of your children you can focus on that message or just enjoy the rhythms of reggae. No matter how you enjoy the songs, I encourage you to do just that, enjoy the music, the message and the hope. Almost forty years after his death we are still “Jammin’”.
Incorporating the books and songs of Bob Marley is just one way to start a conversation about unity, equality, injustice, peace, love, and diversity. These are all conversations that can be difficult to start with kids and adults. Allow the music and the message to take the lead and open that door for children to experience these conversations in the context of music. If you’re lucky, you might just emerge as a “cool adult” sharing the life and everlasting messages of Bob Marley.
My Bob Marley playlist includes: Is This Love, Could You Be Loved, Three Little Birds, Get Up, Stand Up, One Love Jamming, So Much Trouble In The World, Positive Vibration, Lively Up Yourself, Time Will Tell, Coming In From The Cold, among others.
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