Memoir: Wonderful World

What a wonderful world, Louis Armstrong

This song reminds me of Sundays or occasions when my parents hosted parties for their expat friends.

Mum was a Homemaker and Dad a Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineer. Until he started his own company, he held various commissioning and project management roles within several multinational companies.

As a result of this, he had friends and colleagues from England, America, India, Greece, Ireland, Italy… And whenever it was our turn to play host, Dad dipped into his collection of soul, jazz, blues, reggae, pop, rock.., for music entertainment. He also ensured that the drinks were super-chilled, and the house had the optimum temperature, while Mum took care of food and desert.

He starts with the slower tracks and gradually increases the tempo, controlling the mood of his guests. After the meal, much drinking takes over. The tempo steps-up and the dancing begins — I could kill for an opportunity to see those killer moves again!

As children, these were exciting times! We saw no colour or race, every child was a cousin, and adults — uncles and aunts. We jumped in and out of Mum’s precious garden playing games, to the backdrop of some lovely music and laughter from inside the house. For us, it was indeed a wonderful world.

In spite of racism, civil rights battles, racial tensions, cold war, the arms race, class divide and all other social ills, the song writer still had a vision of a Wonderful World.

Through the eyes of Louis Armstrong — a black man, it was a wonderful world. He was not in denial of the troubles of his time, in fact he spoke against racism on few occasion and took actions accordingly.

However, he chose not to stoop low to hatred and bitterness. He did this by sharing his love for humanity through his musical talent, regardless of the race, creed or colour of to his audience. He was able to draw strength from the positives, instead of drowning in the negatives.

Friends, we can find beauty in some of life’s ugliest situations or circumstances. So, let’s keep our dreams and vision alive — it is indeed a wonderful world.