Generation Z has witnessed a lot in our roughly two decades on this earth.
We have lived in the shadows and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks; anytime that we turn on the news, there are reports of another school shooting and our hearts drop to the floor; some of us are supposed to be graduating from college soon, and unfortunately, that will happen in new forms because now, we are in the midst of a global pandemic.
It has been a strangely difficult time, having to move off the campuses that we were proud to call home, and back into our parents’ houses.
Waking up and going through our daily routines only to know that we are going to do it all over again the next day and the next.
Roughly two weeks ago, singer-songwriter Bill Withers passed away at the age of 81; he might not be a name that is particularly well-known to Gen Z, but his songs might be.
“Lean on Me” was a track released in 1972 that has since been played on every radio station known to man and was once even covered on the popular television, Glee.
There is something that resonates about a nearly 50-year-old song even during a global pandemic. “Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain. We all have sorrow. But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow,” Withers sings. “Lean on me when you are not strong. I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on. For it won’t be long ‘til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”
These are lyrics that even still resonate more so now in 2020 than they did at the time of its release in 1972.
It might not be the most cheerful song or even the happiest of songs, but it is a song of hope. It is a song that we need now more than ever. These are scary times that we are living in; I doubt that any of us even thought that something like this could happen. But we are here and this is happening.
Withers’s lyrics state: “Just call on me, brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on.” We all need somebody to lean on especially during this time.
Use the words of Mr. Withers and apply them to what is happening right now. If anyone needs a friend, call them up. Swallow that pride. Lean on friends, family, anyone who needs somebody right now.