The Times They Are A Changin’
This song came out in 1964. It was written and sung by Bob Dylan. It had a heavy influence on my generation because of the lyrics which were a call for change to be made. Essentially the song says that now big changes are taking place. The changes will affect everyone. It cautioned so-called critics and writers to carefully pay attention especially in trying to say who will win and who will lose, in terms of the changes. The third verse is especially powerful. It calls on lawmakers to not block the changes, but to help them happen, otherwise people, especially those opposing change, will get hurt.
1964 was indeed a year of big changes happening in America. Kennedy had been assassinated at the end of the previous year and the Vietnam War was suddenly becoming larger. It was causing a divide among Americans between those who supported and those who opposed the war. It was also a time of the civil rights movement. There was a growing demand that old ways of thinking and behaving be changed. It was a time of major transition. The times were changing.
I think the world now is in a period of major transition caused by the pandemic. Once again we see an increasing number of voices questioning leadership in the handling of the response to the pandemic, specifically in regards to the dilemma of how to save lives and yet at the same time protect the livelihoods of people, especially those who have been forced out of work.
Here in Japan I have been impressed by two individuals in particular: Toru Hashimoto and Hirofumi Yoshimura. I find the frank expression of his views by Hashimoto refreshing and I find the prompt actions of Yoshimura to implement policies for dealing with the pandemic in Osaka foresighted. Compared to the Diet’s way of dealing with the pandemic I am reminded of Dylan’s song and especially the third verse about lawmakers not standing in the way.
I am also reminded of how it was young thinkers and leaders in Western Japan who overthrew the Edo Bakufu and brought about the modernization of the country during the Meiji Era. If young thinkers and political activists around the country could speak out and work together towards common goals, specifically getting themselves elected to the Diet and replacing “old” Diet members who have been there too long, perhaps then Japan would again become revitalized once again.
Only time will tell.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7qQ6_RV4VQ  https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk00rY3-wCCjeiIwzw_q_ShMwFdd5xg%3A1588670120406&ei=qC6xXueqGM3bhwPk4aCwAQ&q=the+times+they+are+a+changin+lyrics&oq=the+times+they+are+a-changin%27&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQARgAMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHMgQIABBHUABYAGCP4wloAHACeACAAQCIAQCSAQCYAQCqAQdnd3Mtd2l6&sclient=psy-ab